An Example Of Good Writing: Zinsser’s “Simplicity” Essay, Research Paper
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
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.