Brain Candy Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | September 21, 2015

    Annie Jacobsen: IMG Mirrors on the Moon: A Reporter's Story about Sources and Secrets in the Modern World

    As a national security reporter, I write about war, weapons, security, and secrets. The question most commonly asked of me is, "How do you get... Continue »
    1. $21.00 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

Qualifying orders ship free.
List price: $14.00
Sale Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
4 Beaverton Reference- Grammar and Style
5 Burnside Reference- Grammar and Style
5 Hawthorne Reference- Grammar and Style

It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences: A Writer's Guide to Crafting Killer Sentences


It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences: A Writer's Guide to Crafting Killer Sentences Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Great writing isn’t born, it’s built—sentence by sentence. But too many writers—and writing guides—overlook this most important unit. The result? Manuscripts that will never be published and writing careers that will never begin.


In this wickedly humorous manual, language columnist June Casagrande uses grammar and syntax to show exactly what makes some sentences great—and other sentences suck.


With chapters on “Conjunctions That Kill” and “Words Gone Wild,” this lighthearted guide is perfect for anyone who’s dead serious about writing, from aspiring novelists to nonfiction writers, conscientious students to cheeky literati. So roll up your sleeves and prepare to craft one bold, effective sentence after another. Your readers will thank you.

About the Author

June Casagrande is a journalist and editor who writes the weekly syndicated grammar column “A Word, Please.” The author of Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies and Mortal Syntax, June lives in Pasadena, California.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix


Introduction The Sentence: The Writer’s Most Important Tool 1


Chapter 1  Who Cares? Making Sentences Meaningful to Your Reader 7


Chapter 2 Conjunctions That Kill: Subordination 15


Chapter 3 Movable Objects: Understanding Phrases and Clauses 29


Chapter 4 Size Matters: Short versus Long Sentences 36


Chapter 5  Words Gone Wild: Sentences That Say Nothing—or Worse 53


Chapter 6 Words Gone Mild: Choosing Specific Words Over Vague Ones 61


Chapter 7 A Frequently Overstated Case: The Truth About Adverbs 65


Chapter 8 Are Your Relatives Essential? Relative Clauses 72


Chapter 9 Antique Desk Suitable for Lady with Thick Legs and Large Drawers: Prepositional Phrases 80


Chapter 10 Dangler Danger: Participles and Other Danglers 85


Chapter 11 The Writing Was Ignored by the Reader: Passives 90


Chapter 12 You Will Have Been Conjugating: Other Matters of Tense 98


Chapter 13 The Being and the Doing Are the Killing of Your Writing: Nominalizations 107


Chapter 14 The The: Not-So-Definite Definite Articles 112


Chapter 15 The Writer and His Father Lamented His Ineptitude: Unclear Antecedents 116


Chapter 16 To Know Them Is to Hating Them: Faulty and Funky Parallels 122


Chapter 17 Taking the Punk Out of Punctuation: The Problem with Semicolons and Parentheses 125


Chapter 18 You Don’t Say: Descriptive Quotation Attributions 131


Chapter 19 Trimming the Fat: Expressions That Weigh Down Your Sentences 134


Chapter 20 The Major Overhaul: Streamlining Even the Most Problematic Sentences 149


Chapter 21 On Breaking the “Rules”: Knowing When to Can the Canons 164


Appendix 1 Grammar for Writers 167

Appendix 2 Punctuation Basics for Writers 191

Appendix 3 The Deadliest Catches: The Most Incriminating Errors and How to Avoid Them 204


About the Author 208

Index 209

Product Details

Casagrande, June
Ten Speed Press
English language -- Sentences.
English language -- Rhetoric.
Writing Skills
Composition & Creative Writing - General
Grammar & Punctuation
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
7 x 5 x 0.59 in 0.44 lb

Other books you might like

  1. Portable Mfa in Creative Writing Used Trade Paper $9.00
  2. The Accidents of Style: Good Advice... Used Trade Paper $5.50
  3. Gotham Writer's Workshop Fiction Gallery Used Trade Paper $7.95
  4. Writers and Their Notebooks Used Trade Paper $13.00

Related Subjects

Business » Featured Titles
Business » General
Featured Titles » Humanities
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Metaphysics » Healing
Reference » Featured Titles
Reference » Grammar and Style
Reference » Grammar and Usage
Reference » Sale Books
Reference » Writing » General
Transportation » General

It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences: A Writer's Guide to Crafting Killer Sentences Sale Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.98 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Ten Speed Press - English 9781580087407 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at