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You Can Write Better English

You Can Write Better English is the title of JMSC Honorary Lecturer Barry Kalb’s new book.

You Can Write Better English

It sets out some rules of good writing and focuses in particular on the routine mistakes that native Chinese speakers make when writing in English.

Kalb, who is a veteran news reporter, has taught reporting and news writing at the JMSC since 2005.

His classes have a strong emphasis on the importance of good English.

Barry Kalb

In fact, Kalb believes good written English is the the most important language skill in the professional world today because it is the global language of commerce and communication.

Barry Kalb’s previous jobs have included CBS News correspondent in Hong Kong, Eastern Europe Bureau Chief for TIME Magazine and editor of Voice of America’s bureau in Hong Kong. He has reported from around the world, including America, Italy and Hong Kong.

This book is the first to be published by the JMSC. It’s aimed at students, journalists, people who writes press releases or for websites, and anyone wanting to improve their written English.

Barry shares some of his top tips:

1. First and foremost, you have to learn the language – that goes for any language.  That means learn the vocabulary, the syntax, and above all the grammar.  (The book places special emphasis on grammar.) 

2. Keep it simple: say whatever you want to say in as few words as possible. 

3. Edit yourself.  Once you’ve written something, but before you send it out, read it over and look for mistakes and things you could have written better.  If possible, take time between the writing and the re-reading.  You’ll be amazed at how much better your writing will be if you look it over with a careful eye.

“It’s a no-nonsense, practical, direct guide to writing good English that’s full of good examples,” says Director of the JMSC, Professor Ying Chan. “It’s a book that you would keep on your desk and revisit again and again.”

Barry Kalb is teaching two courses, also called ‘You Can Write Better English’, as part of the JMSC’s Media Academy for Pros. The classes are open to all and run over two 3-hour sessions on February 15-16 and April 18-19 from 10am-1pm. For more information click here.

You Can Write Better English by Barry Kalb is available to buy in all major book stores. It can also be ordered online from HKU Press.

JMSC BJ and MJ students may obtain the book at a discounted rate of HK$40. Please come in person to the JMSC main office.