Top 10 Best Books to Read in Creative Writing & Composition - August 2021

Here are our top ten recommendations if you are looking for the best books to read in Creative Writing & Composition. We have made sure our list is diverse to cater to the interests of different types of readers.

1. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Creative Writing & Composition - August 2021

An essential volume for generations of writers young and old,  Bird by Bird  is a modern classic. This twenty-fifth anniversary edition will continue to spark creative minds for years to come. For a quarter century, more than a million readers—scribes and scribblers of all ages and abilities—have been inspired by Anne Lamott’s hilarious, big-hearted, homespun advice. Advice that begins with the simple words of wisdom passed down from Anne’s father—also a writer—in the iconic passage that gives the book its title:   “Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.’”

  • Author: Anne Lamott
  • Publisher: Anchor; 1st edition (September 1, 1995)
  • Genre: Reference, Writing, Research & Publishing Guides
  • ISBN: 978-0385480017
  • Dimensions: 5.19 x 0.72 x 7.98 inches


2. They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Creative Writing & Composition - August 2021

The best-selling book that demystifies academic writing This book identifies the key rhetorical moves in academic writing. It shows students how to frame their arguments as a response to what others have said and provides templates to help them start making the moves. The fourth edition features many NEW examples from academic writing, a NEW chapter on Entering Online Discussions, and a thoroughly updated chapter on Writing in the Social Sciences. Finally, two NEW readings provide current examples of the rhetorical moves in action.

  • Author: Gerald Graff
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Fourth edition (June 11, 2018)
  • Genre: Reference, Writing, Research & Publishing Guides
  • ISBN: 978-0393631678
  • Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 7.4 inches


3. The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th Edition

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Creative Writing & Composition - August 2021

Technologies may change, but the need for clear and accurate communication never goes out of style. That is why for more than one hundred years The Chicago Manual of Style has remained the definitive guide for anyone who works with words. In the seven years since the previous edition debuted , we have seen an extraordinary evolution in the way we create and share knowledge. This seventeenth edition of The Chicago Manual of Style has been prepared with an eye toward how we find, create, and cite information that readers are as likely to access from their pockets as from a bookshelf. It offers updated guidelines on electronic workflows and publication formats, tools for PDF annotation and citation management, web accessibility standards, and effective use of metadata, abstracts, and keywords. It recognizes the needs of those who are self-publishing or following open access or Creative Commons publishing models. The citation chapters reflect the ever-expanding universe of electronic sources—including social media posts and comments, private messages, and app content—and also offer updated guidelines on such issues as DOIs, time stamps, and e-book locators. Other improvements are independent of technological change. The chapter on grammar and usage includes an expanded glossary of problematic words and phrases and a new section on syntax as well as updated guidance on gender-neutral pronouns and bias-free language. Key sections on punctuation and basic citation style have been reorganized and clarified. To facilitate navigation, headings and paragraph titles have been revised and clarified throughout. And the bibliography has been updated and expanded to include the latest and best resources available. This edition continues to reflect expert insights gathered from Chicago’s own staff and from an advisory board of publishing experts from across the profession. It also includes suggestions inspired by emails, calls, and even tweets from readers. No matter how much the means of communication change, The Chicago Manual of Style remains the ultimate resource for those who care about getting the details right.

  • Author: The University of Chicago Press Editorial Staff
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; Seventeenth edition (September 5, 2017)
  • Genre: Reference, Writing, Research & Publishing Guides
  • ISBN: 978-0226287058
  • Dimensions: 9.25 x 6.31 x 3.5 inches


4. The Craft of Research (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing)

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Creative Writing & Composition - August 2021

With more than three-quarters of a million copies sold since its first publication, The Craft of Research has helped generations of researchers at every level—from first-year undergraduates to advanced graduate students to research reporters in business and government—learn how to conduct effective and meaningful research. Conceived by seasoned researchers and educators Wayne C. Booth, Gregory G. Colomb, and Joseph M. Williams, this fundamental work explains how to find and evaluate sources, anticipate and respond to reader reservations, and integrate these pieces into an argument that stands up to reader critique. The fourth edition has been thoroughly but respectfully revised by Joseph Bizup and William T. FitzGerald. It retains the original five-part structure, as well as the sound advice of earlier editions, but reflects the way research and writing are taught and practiced today. Its chapters on finding and engaging sources now incorporate recent developments in library and Internet research, emphasizing new techniques made possible by online databases and search engines. Bizup and FitzGerald provide fresh examples and standardized terminology to clarify concepts like argument , warrant , and problem . Following the same guiding principle as earlier editions—that the skills of doing and reporting research are not just for elite students but for everyone—this new edition retains the accessible voice and direct approach that have made The Craft of Research a leader in the field of research reference. With updated examples and information on evaluation and using contemporary sources, this beloved classic is ready for the next generation of researchers.

  • Author: Wayne C. Booth
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 4th edition (October 1, 2016)
  • Genre: Reference, Writing, Research & Publishing Guides
  • ISBN: 978-0226239736


5. A Pocket Style Manual

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Creative Writing & Composition - August 2021

Be prepared for whatever college writing throws at you with the step-by-step advice of the Pocket Style Manual . These tips can be applied to writing in any course to help you succeed.

  • Author: Diana Hacker
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's; Eighth edition (September 1, 2017)
  • Genre: Reference, Writing, Research & Publishing Guides
  • ISBN: 978-8925598406
  • Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.5 x 8.57 inches


6. Writing Tools: 55 Essential Strategies for Every Writer

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Creative Writing & Composition - August 2021

A special 10th anniversary edition of Roy Peter Clark's bestselling guide to writing, featuring five bonus tools. Ten years ago, Roy Peter Clark, America's most influential writing teacher, whittled down almost thirty years of experience in journalism, writing, and teaching into a series of fifty short essays on different aspects of writing. In the past decade, Writing Tools has become a classic guidebook for novices and experts alike and remains one of the best loved books on writing available. Organized into four sections, "Nuts and Bolts," "Special Effects," "Blueprints for Stories," and "Useful Habits," Writing Tools is infused with more than 200 examples from journalism and literature. This new edition includes five brand new, never-before-shared tools. Accessible, entertaining, inspiring, and above all, useful for every type of writer, from high school student to novelist, Writing Tools is essential reading.

  • Author: Roy Peter Clark
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Spark; 1st edition (January 10, 2008)
  • Genre: Reference, Writing, Research & Publishing Guides
  • ISBN: 978-0316014991
  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.15 x 8.25 inches


7. The Making of a Story: A Norton Guide to Creative Writing

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Creative Writing & Composition - August 2021

A Los Angeles Times bestseller: wonderfully lucid and illuminating, Alice LaPlante’s guide to writing fiction “recalls Francine Prose’s bestseller, Reading Like a Writer ” ( Library Journal ). The Making of a Story is a fresh and inspiring guide to the basics of creative writing―both fiction and creative nonfiction. Its hands-on, completely accessible approach walks writers through each stage of the creative process, from the initial triggering idea to the revision of the final manuscript. It is unique in combing the three main aspects of creative writing instruction: process (finding inspiration, getting ideas on the page), craft (specific techniques like characterization), and anthology (learning by reading masters of the form). Succinct, clear definitions of basic terms of fiction are accompanied by examples, including excerpts from masterpieces of short fiction and essays as well as contemporary novels. A special highlight is Alice LaPlante's systematic debunking of many of the so-called rules of creative writing. This book is perfect for writers working alone as well as for creative writing classes, both introductory and advanced.

  • Author: Alice LaPlante
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (January 11, 2010)
  • Genre: Reference, Writing, Research & Publishing Guides
  • ISBN: 978-0393337082
  • Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.9 x 9.2 inches


8. Princeton Review AP English Language & Composition Premium Prep, 2022: 7 Practice Tests + Complete Content Review + Strategies & Techniques (2022) (College Test Preparation)

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Creative Writing & Composition - August 2021

PREMIUM PREP FOR A PERFECT 5! Ace the 2022 AP English Language & Composition Exam with this Premium version of The Princeton Review's comprehensive study guide—including 7 full-length practice tests with complete explanations, thorough content reviews, targeted strategies for every section of the exam, and access to online extras. Techniques That Actually Work. • Tried-and-true strategies to help you avoid traps and beat the test • Tips for pacing yourself and guessing logically • Essential tactics to help you work smarter, not harder Everything You Need for a High Score. • Up-to-date information on the 2022 AP English Language & Composition Exam • Comprehensive review of the synthesis, rhetorical analysis, and argumentative essays • Engaging coverage of word use and rhetorical modes • Access to study plans, a list of key terms, helpful pre-college information, and more via your online Student Tools account Premium Practice for AP Excellence. •  7 full-length practice tests (4 in the book, 3 online) with detailed answer explanations • Pacing drills to help you maximize points on the Reading and Writing passages • Detailed guides for the new analytical scoring rubrics

  • Author: The Princeton Review
  • Publisher: Princeton Review (August 3, 2021)
  • Genre: Reference, Writing, Research & Publishing Guides
  • ISBN: 978-0525570615
  • Dimensions: 8.37 x 0.82 x 10.81 inches


9. AP English Language and Composition Premium: With 8 Practice Tests (Barron's Test Prep)

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Creative Writing & Composition - August 2021

Be prepared for exam day with Barron’s. Trusted content from AP experts! Barron’s AP English Language and Composition Premium 2020-2021: includes in-depth content review and online practice. It’s the only book you’ll need to be prepared for exam day. Written by Experienced Educators  Learn from Barron’s--all content is written and reviewed by AP experts Build your understanding with comprehensive review tailored to the most recent exam  Get a leg up with tips, strategies, and study advice for exam day--it’s like having a trusted tutor by your side Be Confident on Exam Day Sharpen your test-taking skills with 8 full-length practice tests--5 in the book, and 3 more online Strengthen your knowledge with in-depth review covering all  Units on the AP English Language and Composition Exam Reinforce your learning with practice questions at the end of each chapter  Interactive Online Practice Continue your practice with 3 full-length practice tests on Barron’s Online Learning Hub Simulate the exam experience with a timed test option  Deepen your understanding with detailed answer explanations and expert advice Gain confidence with automated scoring to check your learning progress

  • Author: George Ehrenhaft Ed. D.
  • Publisher: Barrons Educational Series; Tenth edition (August 4, 2020)
  • Genre: Reference, Writing, Research & Publishing Guides
  • ISBN: 978-1506261935
  • Dimensions: 8.38 x 1 x 10.88 inches


10. Office Of Assertion: An Art Of Rhetoric For Academic Essay

Top 10 Best Books to Read in Creative Writing & Composition - August 2021

Scott F. Crider addresses the intelligent university student with respect and humor. A short but serious book of rhetoric, it is informed by both the ancient rhetorical tradition and recent discoveries concerning the writing process. Though practical, it is not simply a how-to manual; though philosophical, it never loses sight of writing itself. Crider combines practical guidance about how to improve an academic essay with reflection on the purpose--educational, political, and philosophical--of such improvement.

  • Author: Scott F. Crider
  • Publisher: Intercollegiate Studies Institute; 1st edition (May 1, 2005)
  • Genre: Reference, Writing, Research & Publishing Guides
  • ISBN: 978-1932236453
  • Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.25 inches