am 2. April 2000
It may be unfair, but I hold writers who tell other writers how to write to a higher standard of writing. I also hold social scientists who tell other social scientists how to conduct social science to a higher standard of social science. The author has not written a book that convinced me that he is, in fact, an authority on writing. It also does not appear that any research has gone into this book; many of the examples are from his own writing or from the papers of his students.
The subject is a very important one, but I closed this book not feeling that I had gained much from it. The author has written this book in a style that assumes one is reading it from cover to cover. However, I don't use writing reference books this way (and I suspect that many other struggling social scientist wanna-be writers don't either).
There are some nuggets of wisdom here. I found myself shuddering when the author identified all the elements of bad social science writing that I had either indulged in or had read! Nevertheless, the book is not one that I would recommend. Would SOMEBODY out there please write a workbook or reference-book-style social science guide?