This is a reference book that is divided into six sections. Each section contains units and sub-units.
Section A: The Dynamics of Writing
This section gives you an overview of why we write – the purpose, audience, language, genres and forms of writing and their inter-weaving and their interplay. It defines broad terms used in this book. It takes you through sequencing, paragraphing, and how you can develop and organize a piece of writing.
Section B: Genres of Writing
This section contains information on the major genres of writing namely the Narrative, descriptive, imaginative, reporting, discussion, argumentative, persuasive, explanation and procedural. These are largely prose forms.
The details are:
- Definition Of The Genre
- Features Of The Genre
- Structure Of The Genre
- Detailed Notes On The Features
- How To Use Or Demonstration Of The Genre
- Examples Of Writers In The Genre
- Famous Writers Of The Genre
- Tools For The Genre In The Form Of Extensive Word Lists
Section C: Forms of Writing
In this section we deal with the forms of Poetry, Drama, Letter Writing, Biography and Autobiography, and a host of literary forms that show writer’s intention or purpose, like allegory, farce, satire, irony, satire, parody, caricature, burlesque, lampoon and spoof.
The Poetry section contains structure, types, features, vocabulary and literary criticism. Definitions, example, word-lists, how to do tips and examples are included here. Terminology, analysis of poetry for mood, emotions, word pictures, devices and how they are used to do a literary appreciation is shown.
Drama deals with features, structure, examples and famous playwrights separately for comedy, tragedy, histories and experimental theatre. Terminology and analysis of drama are given in this section.
Several examples demonstrate the organization, structure, types and purpose of letters, biography and autobiography and other literary forms of purpose in the next unit.
Section D: Literary Tools and Skills
This section deals with the appreciation of literature. It defines common terminology used in all forms of literature with their uses and examples. Euphemisms and idioms are analysed in detail. It teaches you how to appreciate the style of a writer. A study of syntax, tone, register and diction is done in detail, using definitions, word lists and examples of each. This is followed by features, types and a demonstration of literary appreciation.
This section also deals with research and study skills. Definitions of skimming and scanning, how we use these to locate key information, to make notes and summaries are clearly shown with detailed demonstrations. Speed and efficiency in locating answers when you skim and scan the various ways to do these are also demonstrated. Internet searches and how to select relevant information is also shown in this section.
Section E: Word Formation
This section deals with vocabulary and words. Extensive word lists show how to form words using prefixes and suffixes. Compound words, portmanteau, clippings, abbreviations, acronyms and word webs, the homophone family are done with examples. A unit on five common categories where confusions with words occur will give you a better understanding of why this happens.
Furthermore, this section shows you how to build a gigantic vocabulary, and how to use a dictionary and thesaurus. There is a wonderful list of 50 common words and their synonyms which forms a ready and instant reference for any student of writing to ‘show’ rather than ‘tell’.
The section also has words for animal gender words, collective noun lists, powerful adverbs categorized by their uses, powerful nouns and how they are formed, advanced adjectives in place of common ones, and number prefixes.
The next unit shows the influences on English with detailed examples of etymology from Greek mythology; words and phrases from the Bible and Shakespeare; everyday phrases in English from Latin; old English words; borrowed words from other languages and American English.
Section F: The Final Word
The final section is about becoming a better writer – the dos and don’ts. Pretentious jargon, contradictions, long complex sentences, colloquialisms and slang and clichés are exemplified by word lists of these items. Then you see how correct grammar and punctuation are important, and how to avoid certain common grammatical, syntactical and organizational errors in writing. There is also a unit on modals and their uses, and one on how to proofread. A bank of ideas is available to the reluctant writer and tips on overcoming the writer’s block.
An appendix gives you samples of letters, autobiographies and a blog.