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Three key ideas from Zinsser in “On Writing Well.”

Three key ideas from Zinsser in “On Writing Well.”

William Zinsser had written 19 books before passing away in 2015. Zinsser’s books covered subjects as wide as travel, jazz, memoir, writing and baseball. One of his works, “On writing well,” has been praised for its clarity, in-depth advice, and excellent style. This is a book for everyone interested in learning writing or anyone who wants to do writing as a hobby. As an academic writer, I have been fascinated by three main ideas in this book.

First, ignore what everyone says; there is no “right way” to write. Every writer has their trick on the best habit to be followed to stand out in writing, such as “write 1000 words per day”, “write every day, whether you feel like it or not,” and so on. Zinsser indicates that it is essential that everyone need to find something that works for them. Look for a writing routine that is perfect for you.

Secondly, as an academic writer, clarity should be the primary focus. Most writers have misconceptions about the need for personal methods in writing. William concurs writing style is vital but inspires the writers that style will develop naturally as time goes on. The art of clarity is the most important thing to master. When one’s work is clear to comprehend, the leaders will remain attached. If the readers are confused by one’s sentences, they immediately disengage. Every writer should pursue clarity first and discover writing styles as they move on.

Thirdly, get more materials than one needs. According to William Zinsser, “you should always collect more material than you will use. Every article is strong in proportion to the surplus of details from which you can choose the few that will serve you best” (Smoyak, 2015). Surplus facts, quotes, and stories signify excellence and not efficiency. Excess material assists one in ensuring that only the finest material gets to the reader.


Smoyak, S. A. (2015). Sequel to the On Writing Well Editorial. Journal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services, 53(9).


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Journals are used to keep track of thoughts, ideas, and occurrences. In this course, you will be keeping track of your thoughts about certain topics presented. You are to post to the journal in your own words about your own thoughts on the topic. Your textbox posting is private and will only be shared with your instructor.

Three key ideas from Zinsser in “On Writing Well.”

Three key ideas from Zinsser in “On Writing Well.”

Topic: Zinsser and Your Writing

After completing the Unit 1 reading from Zinsser, address the following:


Respond to the journal prompt using analysis and critical thinking in no fewer than 300 words using conventional English.

Write a journal entry posting in which you respond to three key ideas from Zinsser that impressed you as being particularly relevant to your workplace or academic writing.

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