Polishing Your Prose

How to Turn First Drafts Into Finished Work

Steven M. Cahn and Victor L. Cahn. Foreword by Mary Ann Caws

Columbia University Press

Polishing Your Prose

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Pub Date: March 2013

ISBN: 9780231160896

104 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $14.95£9.95

Pub Date: March 2013

ISBN: 9780231160889

104 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $49.50£37.00

Pub Date: March 2013

ISBN: 9780231532013

104 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $13.99£10.00

Polishing Your Prose

How to Turn First Drafts Into Finished Work

Steven M. Cahn and Victor L. Cahn. Foreword by Mary Ann Caws

Columbia University Press

This singular book illustrates how to edit a piece of prose and enhance its clarity of thought and felicity of style. The authors first present ten principles of effective composition, and then scrutinize three extended paragraphs, suggesting with remarkable specificity how to improve them. The volume also offers challenging practice questions, as well as two finished essays, one serious and one humorous, that demonstrate how attention to sound mechanics need not result in mechanical writing. Steven M. Cahn and Victor L. Cahn help readers deploy a host of corrective strategies, such as avoiding jargon, bombast, and redundancy; varying sentence structure; paring the use of adjectives and adverbs; properly deploying phrases and clauses; and refining an argument. Here is a book for all who seek to increase their facility in written communication.

If you would like to improve your writing, read this wondrous book, then read it again.

Christine Vitrano, Brooklyn College

The authors, both exceptionally talented writers and teachers, present the material at the right level of detail, organize it well, and engage their readers. The book is an invaluable resource for anyone serious about writing well.

Peter Markie, University of Missouri
Foreword by Mary Ann Caws
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part I: Strategies
Part II: Passages
Conclusion
Epilogue
About the Authors
Index


About the Author

Steven M. Cahn is professor of philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He has written or edited some fifty books, including Fate, Logic, and Time; God, Reason, and Religion; Saints and Scamps: Ethics in Academia; and From Student to Scholar: A Candid Guide to Becoming a Professor.

Christine Vitrano is associate professor of philosophy at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. She is the author of The Nature and Value of Happiness and coeditor, with Steven M. Cahn, of Happiness: Classic and Contemporary Readings in Philosophy.