There are this books called

a brief guide to writing academic arguments

a brief guide to writing from readings

a brief guide to business classics

as far as I know brief means a piece of writing that doesn't contain too many words

how can a book be brief?

  • 1
    writing academics is not used. Do you mean: A Brief Guide to Academic Writing? A guide is not necessarily long.
    – Lambie
    Sep 29, 2018 at 20:14
  • 2
    "how can a book be brief?" Compared to what? A 100 page summary of a 1000 page book could be considered "brief".
    – user3169
    Sep 29, 2018 at 20:57
  • @lambie it was academic arguments
    – user82515
    Sep 30, 2018 at 5:01

1 Answer 1


"Brief" is a relative term. These books consider themselves to be short when compared with their alternatives. "A Guide to Business Classics" could be a very long book.

Adding "Brief" to the title of a book, especially a howto or self-help book, is a common way to make the book seem less intimidating.

  • shouldn't it be briefer if it meant that way?. After putting more thought on it. I've come with this. A subject X has 15 books. So a brief guide of X would be 1 book. And if subject Y has 2 books. Then a brief guide of it would be a small booklet with few pages. What say?
    – user82515
    Sep 30, 2018 at 15:53
  • I wouldn't try to overthinking marketing tactics. "Brief" is simply a word put into the title to make the book seem more inviting to people who don't have a lot of time...it is not necessarily an accurate description of how long the book is.
    – farnsy
    Sep 30, 2018 at 18:07