Academic Study

Books About Writing

There are many resources that can guide you on your journey through academic writing. Beginning texts will serve to ground you in the fundamentals of theological and academic writing, while advanced texts will help you develop your own unique voice and style.

Additionally, reading classic literature and literary essays can help you learn to write more clearly, cogently, and beautifully. Contact a faculty member or the Center for Theological Writing for suggestions.

If a recommended book is not available through the Westminster Bookstore, it can be found through numerous other on-line retailers.

Beginning Writing Texts

Adler, Mortimer J., and Charles Van Doran. How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading. Rev. ed. New York: Touchstone, 1972.

Badke, William B. Research Strategies: Finding Your Way through the Information Fog. 6th ed. iUniverse, Inc, 2011.

Williams, Joseph M., and Joseph Bizup. Lessons in Clarity and Grace. 12th ed. New York: Pearson, 2016. (Earlier editions are also fine.)

Kane, Thomas S. The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing. New York: Berkley Books, 2000.

Orwell, George. “Politics and the English Language.” In A Collection of Essays, 148–155. New York: Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt, 1981.

Strunk, William, Jr., and E. B. White. The Elements of Style. 4th ed. New York: Allyn & Bacon, 2000.

Turabian, Kate L. A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 9th ed. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 2018.

Zinsser, William. On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction. 30th Anniv. Ed. New York: Harper Collins, 2006.

Advanced Writing Texts

Barzun, Jacques, and Henry F. Graff. The Modern Researcher. 6th ed.  Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 2003.

Bradley, James E & Richard A. Muller. Church History: An Introduction to Research, Reference Works, and Methods. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans, 2016.

Cook, Claire Kehrwald. Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1985.

Garner, Bryan A. “Grammar and Usage.” In The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th. ed., 223–362. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2017. (An excellent review of advanced grammar)

Garner, Bryan A. Garner’s Modern American Usage. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford, 2009.

Lunsford, Andrea A. St. Martin’s Handbook. 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2015.

McGraw, Ryan. Reformed Scholasticism: Recovering the Tools of Reformed Theology. London: T&T Clark, 2019.

Stilman, Anne. Grammatically Correct. 2nd ed. Cincinnati, OH: Writer’s Digest Books, 2010.

Thomas, Francis-Noel, and Mark Turner. Clear and Simple as the Truth: Writing Class Prose. 2nd ed. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2011.

Trueman, Carl. Histories and Fallacies: Problems Faced in the Writing of History. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010.

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