In writing about oneself, Zinsser encourages people to write only for themselves—not for publication, or for money, or to impress people; one tends to generate the best material when they are honest with their thoughts. With science writing, Zinsser shows that the most complicated scientific subjects can be explained elegantly, especially when one avoids jargon.
In a business context, Zinsser encourages workers to find a balance between being personable and being professional. Zinsser shows that many business people, in the hope of appearing professional and being taken seriously, sound off-putting, unfriendly, and ultimately, not someone anyone would choose to do business with. For sports writing, Zinsser recommends going beyond reporting the stats of a game, and try hanging out with longtime fans to understand the overarching stories that take place within any high-drama field such as baseball, football, and tennis.
For coverage of the arts, Zinsser encourages students not to be intimidated by their impressions of an artwork, but also to only declaim a judgment once they have absorbed as much information about the artist and the work as possible.
He encourages writers to acknowledge when they are fearful of judgment, and looks at ways to turn that fear into something motivating. He adumbrates the meaning of confidence and enjoyment with writing. Keep a notepad or a computer document nearby to write down important points to cover in the chapter summary.
If possible, highlight text in the book. Begin writing the outline When writing the outline, use letters to denote the most important points and elaborate on them. Use numbers and sub-letters for any supporting details. Continue throughout the entire chapter, keeping events in logical order. Convert the outline to the full text When writing the text, ensure that all information is covered. Go back and rewrite as necessary to add or omit details as required by word count.
What does that mean, though? The first sentence in anything you write is the most important one , because it gets the reader to read the next one. And the more the person reads, the more of your idea that the reader gets. The ending mostly just serves to leave the reader with your biggest point in their back pocket.
Bits and Pieces This chapter is basically just a long selection of very short bits on various aspects of writing. The most important one? Write what you love. I mean this dead seriously — write about the things that you enjoy the most and the passion will come right out. My advice to anyone out there who wants to improve their writing is to start a blog on that topic and commit to writing something daily. I wrote a guide to help out. Nonfiction as Literature Many people think of writing as composing some great work of fictional literature, like writing the Great American Novel.
Nonfiction has just as much power to provoke thought and move the human spirit as fiction does. The Interview The rest of this third part of On Writing Well focuses on techniques for specific types of writing, starting off with the art of writing about people and how to interview them.
I found that this was incredibly useful for me to do when I was in college, especially in humanities courses. The Travel Article The real magic in writing about places is to find details that illustrate the bigger picture — and use only as many details as you need. Great travel writing enables you to visualize a place in rich detail — boring travel writing just lists the things you can do there.
The Memoir Interestingly, the tips for writing a memoir are much the same as writing about travel: Science and Technology Many writers balk at writing about science and technology out of fear and a lack of understanding of the topic, but science for a general audience is actually easy. Every sentence you write should follow this narrative. This is true for any business that you might be a part of — how does this piece of writing improve my bottom line?
The best sports writing kicks all the walls down and goes back to that basic framework, telling exactly what happened in clear terms, and combines elements of the interview and the travelogue to create a clear picture of both the place and the people involved.
Writing About The Arts: Humor The best humor is usually just a heightening of the truth. In fact, if you want to be a humor writer, Zinsser basically recommends taking a piece of real writing that you consider indicative of a social trend and just amplify it to comic proportions.
On Writing Well Summary & Study Guide William Zinsser This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of On Writing Well.
This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of On Writing Well. The author tells a story about a surgeon who writes on the side and is published. William Zinsser is a.
Below is a list of On Writing Well Cliff Notes and On Writing Well SparkNotes. Not looking for a On Writing Well summary? Search above for other chapter summaries, curated from popular sites like SparkNotes and Cliff Notes. Jun 08, · Credits-- On Writing Well: An Informal Guide to Writing Fiction by William Zinsser. I am using this book to practice writing short summaries, as well .
On Writing Well Summary SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics. Perhaps the best single piece of advice in the entire book appears in this chapter: if you want to know if the way you’re writing sounds any good, read the entire thing aloud and see if it sounds right to you. If it doesn’t, something is off – good text should flow well when read aloud.