The best journalism books of all time, according to experts


best writing books


1.”On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction” by William Zinsser

Zinsser’s much-loved book is an advice hub for anyone interested in writing, well, just about anything.

“It’s the writing text that students respond to with the most enthusiasm and from which they tell me they learn the most,” said associate professor Mark Leccese, who uses the book for his feature film writing class at Emerson College in Boston.

Other teachers who also recommended the book:

2.”The Associated Press Style Book”

As a journalism student, I can attest that the AP Stylebook is a writer’s bible. You’ll find best practices for everything from using affect versus effect (a struggle for many) to referring to sensitive topics like mental health and war outbreaks.

“It brings order to a chaotic world,” said Aileen Gallagher, an associate professor at Syracuse University who teaches reporting and multimedia news writing. “If you don’t have the luxury of having an editor, at least it’s a reliable resource. In the classroom, it is a reference book that also serves as a discussion starter to understand the reasoning behind the changes in language and style.”

Additionally, Greg Munno of Syracuse University also recommended the “Briefing on Media Law” version.

Other teachers who also recommended the book:

3.”The Elements of Style” by William Strunk, Jr. and EB White

“The Elements of Style” offers a crash course in writing skills, specifically how to use plain language to engage the reader.

“Strunk and White, of course, is the last word for writing English prose”, said Christopher B. Daly, who teaches reporting and journalism history at Boston University. “It’s all in there – after that, it’s all execution.”

Other teachers who also recommended the book:

4.”Writing Tools: 55 Essential Strategies for Every Writer” by Roy Peter Clark

“Writing Tools” covers 55 tips – from mixing narrative moods to names to paragraph length – in an all-in-one toolbox every writer needs in their arsenal. In fact, I ended up buying it after many professors recommended the resource.

“If you go straight from Strunk and White’s ‘The Elements of Style’ to this one, you will omit unnecessary lessons,” said Mark Stencel, an assistant instructor at Duke University who teaches news writing and reporting, fact-checking and surveillance journalism in American politics.

Other teachers who also recommended the book:

5. “Telling True Stories: A Guide to Nonfiction Writers from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University” by Mark Kramer

“Telling True Stories” is a collection of anecdotes from distinguished writers who gather annually at Harvard’s Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism.

“There are so many short articles written by amazing journalists and writers in this book, telling us why their work matters and how they do it,” said Ellen Meacham, who teaches introductory multimedia writing at the University of Mississippi. It helps his students organize headlines, inverted pyramid-style stories, and simple stories broadcast for radio. and television.

Other teachers who also recommended the book:

6. “Storycraft: The Complete Guide to Writing Narrative Nonfiction” by Jack Hart

When it comes to story structure, point of view, and editing for publication, “Storycraft” is truly a complete guide to the craft.

Brett Oppegaard, associate professor and undergraduate chair in journalism at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, says it’s by far her favorite book on writing. “I’ve been collecting snippets of writing wisdom for decades and when I first found this book I just picked up my file and threw it in the trash because Hart covered everything that was important to me, and so much more,” he said. noted.

Other teachers who also recommended the book:

seven. “A Writer’s Coach: An Editor’s Guide to Words That Work” by Jack Hart

“A Writer’s Coach” is a dictionary with a twist. Inside, you’ll find tips on how to polish your writing and tips author Jack Hart has used to coach Pulitzer Prize-winning writers.

According to Adrianne Flynn, senior lecturer at the University of Maryland, “Hart’s Two Books [the other: “Storycraft“]are the best I have seen in teaching, with simple language, good examples, and how to report, organize, and write everything from simple to complex news or features.” The book is a resource for its students to write about government, breaking news, and education, among other rhythms.

Other teachers who also recommended the book:

8. “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft” by Stephen King

Stephen King, known for his big page-turners, reveals the tricks of the trade in his memoir in the first part, master class in the second part: “On Writing”

“The second half of ‘On Writing’ is a wonderful introduction to journalism,” said Eric Grode, assistant professor of magazine, news, and digital journalism and director of Goldring Arts Journalism at Syracuse University. Grode considers this one of the best writing books of all time.

Other teachers who also recommended the book:

9. “The Chicago Guide to Fact Checking” by Brooke Borel

To improve the editing and reviewing process, “The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking” is here to help. Julia Bloch, director of the creative writing program at the University of Pennsylvania, recommends this book for students who want to refine their writing in a variety of media.

Other teachers who also recommended the book:

10. “Writing Choices: Elements of Nonfiction Storytelling” by Sue Hertz

“Write Choices” is a comprehensive book that dives in the stylistic choices common to all writers. You’ll find strategies for writing memoirs, literary works, travel essays, and more.

“I use it in an intermediate reporting workshop offered at the college and undergraduate levels,” said Meg Heckman, assistant professor of journalism at Northeastern University.


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