Part grammar book, part style manual, part common sense guide, Painless Writing might not turn you into the next William Faulkner but it will almost certainly improve your grasp of mechanics and help you churn out better essays. Jeffrey Strausser shows students how to know which word to put where, the importance of variety among sentences and paragraphs, the dangers of the passive voice, and how to de-clutter a messy page.
Fortunately, Strausser has a great sense of humor, so students who would normally be turned off by the book's topic will be drawn in and (if you're lucky) won't even realize they're learning. Okay, they'll know they're learning, but they'll also see why it's important to be able to write clearly and effectively, and they'll have plenty of opportunities through fun exercises to implement what they read.
A lot of the problem for students who don't like to write is that they've never been taught to do it well. This book will alleviate much of this frustration, and while it doesn't cover things like the organization of ideas very thoroughly, it does provide the information necessary for struggling writers to improve their abilities enough to write confidently and well. Whether you have a middle school student who needs an introductory crash course in the basics, or a high schooler in need of remedial or brush-up work, Painless Writing is one of the better texts of its kind we've seen.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he's a husband and father who loves church, good food, and weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here
Did you find this review helpful?