On Writing

Recommended Reading

  • On Writing Well, by William Zinsser
  • How to Take Smart Notes, by Sönke Ahrens

Zinsser's Economy of Words

  • Shorter is better
  • Long Latin nouns are the enemy
  • Anglo-Saxon active verbs are your friend
  • One thought per sentence

Zinsser's Four Principles of Writing

  • Clarity -> purpose, audience, and scope
  • Brevity -> trim and rewrite; is each word necessary?
  • Simplicity -> don't be fancy; [avoid former/latter]
  • Humanity -> of the writer and the reader