Developing Writing Skills in Chinese  book cover
2nd Edition

Developing Writing Skills in Chinese

ISBN 9780415678896
Published September 30, 2013 by Routledge
216 Pages

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Book Description

Developing Writing Skills in Chinese has been devised for post-intermediate students who need to write Chinese in the course of their life, work or study.

Each unit covers a specific style of writing and is reinforced with a rich selection of model texts. All texts are followed by supporting notes examining the formats, styles, grammar structures or special phrases featured. A wide variety of exercises are featured throughout, and each unit concludes with a helpful glossary given in Chinese characters, pinyin and English translations. An answer key is also included in the back of the book.

The following writing styles and genres are covered:

  • Personal correspondence—greetings and condolences, explanations and apologising, making arrangements and keeping in touch
  • Formal writing—announcements and adverts, letters of enquiry and application, business correspondence, developing an argument, facts and data
  • Narration—story narratives, reporting speech, exemplifying and summarising
  • Description and comparison—outlining people’s characters, physical attributes and appearance, places and weather

This new edition has been comprehensively revised and updated throughout. It includes a brand-new chapter on narratives and there is new coverage of digital communication methods such as text messages and emails. An additional English-Chinese glossary is also available for free download at

Developing Writing Skills in Chinese will help students to write coherently, clearly and appropriately in a variety of contexts. It is suitable for both classroom and self-study use.

Table of Contents

Preface 1. Cards 2. Notes and text messages 3.Personal letters and emails  4. Announcements, small ads and others  5.Formal correspondence  6. Narratives  7.Reporting speech 8. Exemplification, reformulation and summary 9. Comparison and contrast, simile and metaphor 10. Procedure, process and development 11. Descriptions of people’s physical attributes 12. Descriptions of people’s emotional attributes  13. Descriptions of people’s disposition and moral attributes  14.Descriptions of people’s movements and actions 15. Descriptions of places and the weather 16. Business correspondence 17. Key to some exercises (positioned upside down) Chinese–English Glossary

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Boping Yuan is Reader in Chinese Language and Linguistics at the University of Cambridge and Fellow and Director of Studies in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Kan Qian is Lecturer in Chinese at The Open University, UK.


'When I taught a composition class to third-year students of Chinese a couple of years ago ... I could not find any textbook in English on teaching writing to learners of Chinese in the West. Here, at last, is such a textbook ... The carefully constructed samples not only illustrate how the Chinese language is used in writing, but also reflect developments in China.' - Times Higher Education Supplement

'Developing Writing Skills in Chinese covers a wide range of styles from greeting cards to business correspondence, which is helpful for both teacher and learner.' - Song Lianyi, Times Higher Education Supplement