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Bad LanguageAre Some Words Better than Others?$
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Edwin L. Battistella

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172485

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172485.001.0001

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Bad Writing

Bad Writing

Chapter:
(p.23) Two. Bad Writing
Source:
Bad Language
Author(s):

Edwin L. Battistella (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172485.003.0002

This chapter examines prose style, with the aim of showing that good writing is a relative notion. Topics discussed include the craft of writing and the importance of clear and direct language in good writing. It is argued that all good writing requires a discernable logic and a degree of organization, cohesion, unity, and clarity appropriate to the subject and audience. What good writing shares — whether it is personal, impersonal, entertaining, or bureaucratic — is a control that creates audience confidence and authorial credibility. Thus, good writing is writing that is effective — writing that is convincing to a particular audience.

Keywords:   prose style, good writing, relativism, realism, language

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