Customer comments on this Youngstown Ohio Book
If your trying to buy a book that teaches you how to write this is it. This hand book will teach you all about proper writing.
There is nothing that ruins a good reference book so much as over-attention to graphics. This book is very busy in both its design and implementation. Compared to other writing handbooks (particularly Diana Hacker's A Writer's Reference), this book is very hard to use. For example, the ToC for the MLA documentation section is not listed on the tab for MLA, but is buried several pages in. There are nearly 200 pages that start this book that are a mixed and confusing grab-bag of the greatest hits of rhetoric and writing, but do little to engage students in the act of crafting a written artifact. Also, after using this book for a semester, the tabs began to fray. As a teacher of first-year composition, I strongly recommend A Writer's Reference if you are looking for a user-friendly and comprehensive handbook for writing courses. This Harbrace book, which is the "Brief" version at 592 pages, is difficult to use as a teacher and as a student, and some information is nearly impossible to find (e.g. block quotation style guidelines).
Comprehensive and Convenient
Here is a terrific reference resource for anyone who frequently composes letters, e-mails, reports, etc. That is, for just about everyone. Even with various aids provided within software (eg to correct spelling), basic mistakes of grammar go undetected...and "send the wrong message" (both literally and symbolically) to recipients of what you write. Inside the front cover, the authors provide an especially handy detailed index (for questions concerning writing, grammar, effective sentences, diction, punctuation, and mechanics as well as glossaries of usage and terms) which directs their reader to the appropriate page or pages in the Handbook; on the back inside cover of the book, they then provide an equally handy list of checklists (also with page references) followed by a list of revision symbols. There are several such reference resources which will serve you well. In my opinion, this is the most comprehensive...and the easiest to use on a regular basis. I also urge you to check out Strunk & White's The Elements of Style and Stephen King's On Writing.