by First Mate Keira

Title: The Gettysburg Approach to Writing & Speaking Like a Professional
Author: Philip Yaffe
Format: Ebook
Page Count: 288 pages
Grade Reading Level: 9th Grade+

Why I read this book:

I was offered a review copy by the author. In addition, I was interested in learning the secret to effective expository writing… *cough* acing that pesky term paper *cough*

Why you should read this book:

Ever wanted to write the perfect term paper or ace a weighty presentation? Philip Yaffe’s The Gettysburg Approach will give the keys to successful writing to any student wishing to learn and willing to do the legwork. The text itself is a useful example of all of the principles, tips, and instructions the author explains throughout the book.

Early emphasis is on clarity, conciseness, and density. Formulas define what these words mean with instructions and exercises for applying them to your writing. Later Yaffe covers the differences between writing and speaking and how to make slide show presentations work for the speaker and listener alike.

Yaffe employs repetition and summation throughout the book to get points across and make sure they stick. Appendixes A-M continue the lessons from the main text of the book and provide plenty of practice to make sure you get what to do.

Aimed at college freshmen, Gettysburg Approach would also be good for high school students. Beyond the student application, I believe this book to be a good investment for new teachers wishing to keep students engaged. In addition, it would be good for presenters, speakers, and professionals that rely heavily on written communication.

Favorite Sections:

  • Author’s Story – How he learned to write (from complexity to effectiveness)
  • Inverted Pyramid – A journalism technique that gives busy readers what they want fast.
  • Line by Line Analysis – Specifically when Yaffe covers Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and Shakespeare’s Mark Anthony soliloquy about the death of Caesar and the comparison between the two speeches
  • Lewis Carol’s Jabborwocky Poem – How nonsense can achieve an expository feel and be solidly constructed at the same time

Last Minute Thoughts: This is nitpicky, but I wish attention, attention span, or focus, was used in place of mind control throughout the book. Personally it jolted me out of the reading because it seemed at times the prevalent idea appeared to be mind control, not effective writing, though gaining and retaining reader attention resulted from professional writing. I have no interest in mind control. 😛

Buy: The Gettysburg Approach to Writing & Speaking Like a Professional (print)

Rating: 5 Treasure Chests

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