Simple and Direct: A Rhetoric for Writers. 4th ed. Harper, 2001.
by Barzun, Jacques, and Henry G. Graff.
- Publisher: Harper
- Date Published: 2001
Point: Write clearly. Read what you have written. Rewrite. Simple and Direct provides a critique of the lazy writer and a challenge to those who seek to rise above the average. Barzun and Graff demonstrate the importance of writing clearly.
Path: By providing numerous examples and exercises, the authors demonstrate the pervasiveness of sloppy speech. In an effort to correct this problem, this work addresses key topics through six chapters. Interspersed throughout are twenty principles highlighting the key ideas of writing clearly.
The goal of the authors is not to provide ten easy steps to be understood. Rather, they seek to show the painstaking effort involved in effective communication contrasted with the devastating results of those who do not take the time. Their message is not easy, but it is necessary.
Agreement: One of the strengths of this book are the exercises given. If one would take the time to read thoughtfully and thoroughly, doing the exercises given, he would benefit greatly.
Another strength of Simple and Direct are the twenty principles found throughout the chapters. These short ideas can easily be compiled and reviewed, allowing the reader to remember the advice given.
The message of this book could not be timely enough. Whether through blogs, websites, or self published ebooks, people are speaking. Everyone has a voice, but few speak clearly.
Stars: 4 out of 5
It would be worth another read and I would recommend it.