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Writing Without Bullshit: Boost Your Career by Saying What You Mean (my reading notes)

Writing without Bullshit (Josh Bernoff)This year, I’ve been reading a lot about writing (in general), and academic writing (in particular), because more and more people come to my website for advice on how to write, and I’ve created a nice (small-but-growing) network of scholars on whose advice I rely on to make my own prose. I recently received a physical copy of Glen Wright (of Academia Obscura’s fame)’s book, which he kindly gifted me. Receiving this book prompted me to buy THE BOOK Glen recommended that helped improve his writing: Josh Bernoff’s Writing Without Bullshit: Boost Your Career by Saying What You Mean. I had read another endorsement of Bernoff’s book on my Twitter account when Reneé Stephen tweeted at me about this book being required reading for anyone who writes. Two people whose opinion I trust decided Bernoff’s book was worth it (and the price was quite accessible, $16 USD) so I decided to buy it.

As you can see from my photograph, I read Bernoff’s book while sitting in my pyjamas (or pajamas or PJs, I’m not going to fight over word choice). I speed-read, admittedly, but regardless, I found Bernoff’s Writing Without Bullshit quite easy to read, and I did so in 45 minutes (live-tweeting included) comfortably sitting on my couch and having a cup of coffee. Following Bernoff’s advice, I won’t post a lengthy set of reading notes and I’ll just copy-and-paste my tweets associated with the book (I also threaded them in case you want to read directly on Twitter).

Overall, I found Josh Bernoff’s “Writing Without Bullshit” as good as Renee and Glen suggested. It’s a quick read, particularly useful if you tend to be verbose and write clunky, “big-words” kind of prose, and will definitely make for a good book to refer back to.

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. A synthetic memorandum on advice on academic research and writing – Raul Pacheco-Vega, PhD linked to this post on July 29, 2019

    […] of your preparation includes determining the audience. This is also why I love Josh Bernoff’s Writing Without Bullshit. Our audience wants (for the most part) clear prose, although I know a few academics who seem to […]

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