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An Example of Good Writing: Zinsser's "Simplicity"

Oct 08, 1999 469 Words
An Example Of Good Writing: Zinsser's "Simplicity"

Zinsser's essay on Simplicity is an example of good writing for many reasons. The main topic in his essay is clutter. Throughout the essay he not only tells us why this is a problem, but he shows us through many detailed examples. The essay was written so that anyone who reads it could understand it. He does not use complex words that often tend to loose a reader. Zinsser asks questions throughout the essay that cause the reader to think and feel as though he is a part of the essay. The whole essay gives the reader a positive outlook on writing.

Clutter is all the unnecessary words that are added to a sentence. When a sentence becomes cluttered it tends to bore and confuse the reader. Zinsser points out that the secret of good writing is to strip the sentence of all unnecessary words. When Zinsser is proving this point in his essay he uses the example of the president of a major university writing a very unclear letter to state a problem the school was experiencing. Zinsser translates the letter to read the actual message that everyone can understand.

The way Zinsser writes the essay it is easy to understand. He uses everyday words not dictionary words. No one wants to read an essay that every other word they have to stop and go look it up because they do not know the meaning. This causes the reader to become frustrated and they also tend to loose interest. There are too many other options presented to people today that already stray them away from reading.

By asking questions in the essay it keeps the readers attention. In the essay Zinsser asks, "Who is this elusive creature, the reader?" That question causes the people reading to stop and think, could he be talking about me? Now he has captured the readers full attention, so they read on to find the answer.

Throughout Zinsser's essay he makes many suggestions to the reader in which he can better his own writing. This makes the reader go away with a good feeling. Now the reader knows what to do to get rid of the clutter in his writing. This makes the reader realize that he did not waste his time by reading the essay, but he actually learned something.

The style of writing Zinsser has is clear. He walks the reader through what he is saying by showing them. This is important to a reader because it shows them that the writer cares. At the end of the essay Zinsser lets everyone know that writing is hard work but with time and many revisions it gets better. That makes the essay complete because it tells everyone there is always hope.

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