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Essays and books on writing well
Fri, 2007-08-03 22:30 - Zhigang Suo
- G. M. Whitesides, Writing a paper. Advanced Materials 15, 1375-1377, 2004. This three-page essay by a prolific professor at Harvard advocates a process: start writing a paper at the same time you start a research project. Every thinking person should read this essay, and give the process a try.
- David Weitz, Weitzlab Guide to Good Paper Writing. David Weitz, of Harvard University, leads a large and prolific experimental soft condensed matter group.
- P.R. Halmos, How to write mathematics, L'Enseignement Mathemmatique 16, 123-152 (1970)
- Elements of style, Nature Physics 3, 581 (2007). This is a one-page editorial on writing, more relevant to writing short papers such as those in Nature, Science, PNAS, PRL, APL. You may also want to read an iMechanica entry on writing for PRL by Zhenyu Zhang.
- M.F. Ashby, How to write a paper. Professor Ashby, of the University of Cambridge, is known to many of us for his textbooks, and materials selection maps. He is a fascinating speaker and writer. This essay explains how he approaches writing.
- W. Strunk and E.B. White, The Elements of Style. This little book is perhaps the best known book on writing well.
- W.K. Zinsser, On Writing Well. A delightful and helpful book.
- J.M. Williams, Style: Toward Clarity and Grace. Written by a Professor of English, this book takes a more systematic approach to the craft. My favorite.
If you find any helpful essays and books on writing well, please add a link below.