"It became clear to me, as I think it must become to clear to anyone who is burdened with the job of teaching legal writing, that what these students lacked was not the skill of legal writing, but the skill of writing at all.
What I hoped to have conveyed to my charges in those years were merely the prerequisites for self-improvement in writing, which are two things. Number one, the realization--and it occurred to my students as an astounding revelation--that there is an immense difference between writing and good writing. And two, that it takes time and sweat to convert the former into the later."
--U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
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About the Book
In ten beautifully written chapters, The Modern Rules of Style is a brief, elegant primer on how to write vivid, interesting sentences. Marx explains such concepts as parallelism; how to use introductory and trailing modifiers; proper use of the semicolon, colon, and dash; and how to use a noun clause effectively.
You'll discover how to spice up prose by varying sentence length; how to use "like" or "unlike"; and the right way to use repetition to focus concepts. There is also a helpful section on building great paragraphs through the use of compelling sentences. Hundreds of examples of how to incorporate these lessons are included, including many taken from current newspapers and magazines, as well as many examples of how NOT to write.
The Modern Rules of Style is destined to take its place next to Strunk and White's Elements of Style as an essential and timeless how-to guide.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Three Ducks in a Row: Use Parallelism 3. Starting Out: Use Introductory Modifiers 4. Closing Strong: Use Trailing Modifiers 5. What's What: Use the Noun Clause 6. Looking Backward: Use the Semi-Colon 7. Double Dot Means a Lot: Use the Colon 8. The Bump in the Road: Use the Dash 9. Like It-Or Not: Use Like or Unlike 10. Short and Sweet; Long and Strong: Vary Sentence Lengths 11. Keep Your Eye on the Subject: Use Subject Repetition To Focus Paragraphs 12. Paragraphs with Style
What Others Are Saying
"Professor Marx has written a superb little book for lawyers. It's a thoughtful guide to sophisticated techniques for making your sentences work better. The guidance Professor Marx gives is written in the kinds of sentences he advocates: planned and polished yet crisp and direct. " Wayne Schiess, Director of Legal Writing, University of Texas School of Law (From the Foreword)