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Book Review: Teach Yourself Grammar and Style

Full title: Macmillan Teach Yourself Grammar and Style in 24 Hours, by Pamela Rice Hahn and Dennis E. Hensley, Ph.D., published by Pearson Education Macmillan USA, 2000.

Have you wanted to attend a writers’ conference but couldn’t afford it? Have you considered online courses but passed on them for the same reason? Consider getting a copy of this book, and give yourself a thorough workshop on the basics of writing. Although the title may intimidate you, the book is not boring and pedantic. It’s designed for anyone needing a review of grammar basics, but it also targets those who need to improve their writing.

You may be wondering what’s the difference between grammar and style. The first sentence in the first chapter explains, “Grammar is the study of sentence structure and the rules that govern it.” “Style” means “a distinctive manner of expression,” according to Merriam Webster. The first 12 chapters give you grounding in grammar, while the rest of the book helps you develop your style.

The title says you can accomplish your study in 24 hours. Sounds amazing? Well, you won’t be able to do it overnight, unless you just don’t sleep at all. Each chapter is constructed so that you can study and absorb the material in one hour. Then you take the multiple-choice test. If you do one chapter a day, you can finish in 24 days. Do two chapters a day and be done in 12 days. Maybe it’s not “quick and easy,” but it is effective.

The book offers several appendices with tables, resources, lists, and a detailed index. If you’re a published writer or one who wants to get work published, this book will be a good refresher course. It’s available both new and used on Amazon.

Preview the book on Google books.


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