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Download Contents (446 KB)

Download Introduction (453 KB)

Download Chapter 1 - Un (647 KB)

Download Chapter 2 - Almost and Even (710 KB)

Download Chapter 3 - Chiasmus (637 KB)

Download Chapter 4 - If -- If -- If Not (471 KB)

Download Chapter 5 - As (626 KB)

Download Chapter 6 - Nuance Spotlight (586 KB)

Download Chapter 7 - At Once (596 KB)

Download Chapter 8 - Equal Parts (473 KB)

Download Chapter 9 - To (472 KB)

Download Chapter 10 - Albeit (470 KB)

Download Chapter 11 - However (531 KB)

Download Chapter 12 - At Best __, At Worst ___ (479 KB)

Download Chapter 13 - Nuance Spotlight (482 KB)

Download Chapter 14 - What __ Is To __ (622 KB)

Download Chapter 15 - Let Alone and Much Less (470 KB)

Download Chapter 16 - As Diverse As (549 KB)

Download Chapter 17 - More Than (480 KB)

Download Chapter 18 - Less Than (509 KB)

Download Chapter 19 - Nuance Spotlight (515 KB)

Download Chapter 20 - Without Being and Without (471 KB)

Download Chapter 21 - All But (529 KB)

Download Chapter 22 - Where (476 KB)

Download Chapter 23 - But Not (471 KB)

Download Chapter 24 - Nuance Spotlight (475 KB)

Download Chapter 25 - Double Moves (462 KB)

Download Answer Key (468 KB)

Download Photo Credits (452 KB)

Download Notes and Acknowledgment (568 KB)


To succeed in law, business, education, government, health care, and many other fields, it is becoming increasingly important to distinguish yourself as a savvy communicator. Social media has only accelerated the ways in which we all must learn to use our words to connect, compete, and create. There are features of the English language, however, that many of us haven’t taken full advantage of yet. Notes on Nuance is designed to help change that.

Drawing on a diverse collection of authors—from novelists to physicists, from ancient Greek historians to modern-day CEOs—it reveals the hidden mechanics that skilled writers use to add style and sophistication to their sentences and slogans. It’s the perfect resource for people who are looking to do more with their written words.

This book includes materials from a popular course called “Good with Words: Writing and Editing” that Professor Patrick Barry created at both the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Chicago Law School. An online version of that course is now available through the educational platform Coursera.

Publication Date



Maize Books


Ann Arbor, MI


editing and proofreading, writing style, effective writing, rhetoric, notes on nuance, writing structure


Legal Education | Legal Profession | Legal Writing and Research


Copyright © 2020 by Patrick Barry

Some rights reserved

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, PO Box 1866, Mountain View, California, 94042, USA.

Notes on Nuance: Volume 1