How Writing Works is your field guide to effective writing by Roslyn Petelin. The author is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication and Arts at The University of Queensland.
Roslyn deserves her moniker of 'Australia's Grammar Guru' and she excels at explaining how to create clear and precise writing. If you went to school in the last few decades, then it is possible (like myself) you missed out on learning about grammar.
Roslyn is passionate about using plain language and reducing bureaucratese in the workplace. I enjoyed the first couple of chapters where she covers how writing works, how reading works, and how words work. The book then gets technical and Roslyn writes about how sentences and form-class words work and how structure-class words and paragraphs work. The second half of the book deals with punctuation, structure, design, genre, workplace documents and academic writing.
The book also covers writing for social media and online publications. There are exercises at the end of each chapter to test yourself on with activities and quizzes. This book should be on the bookshelf of everyone who writes.
The book would be handy for people who need to write as part of their job or university students. If you want to check your grammar while writing on a computer, then the Grammarly checking tool is invaluable.
How Writing Works is a thoroughly written and researched field guide to effective writing both online and in print.
Associate Professor Roslyn Petelin initiated and designed the award-winning Program in Writing, Editing, and Publishing at the University of Queensland, and developed the hugely successful international online course WRITE101X English Grammar and Style. She is co-author of The Professional Writing Guide and Professional Communication, and consults extensively to government and other organisations on writing, editing, and information design.