Writing to Learn: How to Write and Think Clearly About Any Subject at All
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Writing and thinking and learning were the same process. Anyone who thinks clearly should be able to write clearly - about any subject at all. Its frontiers may no longer be where they were the last time you looked. Aug 07, Anne White rated it it was amazing Shelves: education. For anyone interested in the definition and use of "living books" in education, this is full of good examples and ponderings. It might be useful to accompany the topical chapters such as "how to read social science" in Adler's How to Read a Book.
Nov 09, Megan rated it liked it Shelves: grammar-english-books. About six years ago I spent such a happy afternoon in the Melbourne library, reading Zinsser's On Writing Well similar in style and content to Strunk and White's Elements of Style , I was happy to pick up another of his books when it came my way.
The opening chapters were exciting: Zinsser wrote well about the pains and rewards of writing, and made an eloquent case that society especially the educated, business class has gone to the dogs by way of 'office-speak' and 'bureaucratese. Economics students should write about economics. Not only does our culture need good, clear writing about all subjects, but people learn best from their subject if they write about it. Writing, he pleaded, is organized thought. Of course, he was preaching to the choir. But, the book fell flat. The remaining chapters were devoted to samples of other people's writing, organized by category the arts, sciences, etc.
Thing is, except for only an exception or two you know Rachel Carson, the envronmentalist?
Words To Describe An Author's Tone - Writers Write
The woman can write! Toward the end, I found myself skipping the samples in favor of Zinsser's clever, albeit brief, commentaries. Here is one passage in which I took great heart: "Only when the job was over did I enjoy it. I don't like to write, but I take great pleasure in having written-- in having finally made an arrangement that has a certain inevitability, like the solution to a mathematical problem.
Perhaps in no other line of work is delayed gratification so delayed. View 1 comment. Oct 14, Poiema rated it really liked it. In one of my recent reads, Writing to Learn, William Zinsser makes the challenge to write about something that is intangible rather than concrete. For example, a music lesson. But to describe a musical technique requires the ability to conjure up sensory information of a different sort. In the author's own words: "Writing about music also made me a better musician.
The nee In one of my recent reads, Writing to Learn, William Zinsser makes the challenge to write about something that is intangible rather than concrete. The need to write clearly about an art form that the reader can never see or hear; one that evaporates with the playing of each note, forced me to think harder about the structure of music--about what I was trying to learn. Homeschoolers, especially of the Charlotte Mason variety, are well familiar with this technique of "telling back" what has been learned. In a homeschool setting, this most often involves telling back an episode in a book.
But I'm finding that this deceivingly simple exercise is valuable in other settings, too. The music lesson is just one "non book" example. How about narrating the way in which a math problem is solved? Or describing how to do a flip on the trampoline? Have you ever tried to describe in detail an elegant meal that you enjoyed? Oral "tellings" are perfect for young children, but writing the narrations adds a new level of learning. Even adults find it challenging!
I know this because I've tried tackling some of the writing assignments I've given to my children.
Zinsser tells us that writing forces the brain to reason in a linear, sequential way and thus is ideally suited to help us tackle subjects that we might view as difficult. When we write, we must break it down into bite-sized morsels and that is far less intimidating than sorting through a huge mass of information. I have two very excellent writers in the family.here
7 Ways to Learn Difficult Subjects in Order to Write Useful Content
But I have noticed that when I choose the "Achilles Heel" subject as a writing assignment, the result is less-than-excellent. His care in writing enabled him to later pen books that have been described as the "Insects' Homer". His words sing, even after being translated into different languages. The lesson I learn from Fabre is that writing is a lifetime pursuit!
I'm excited that my own learning continues to unfold as I oversee the education of my children. Life is rich! Dec 14, Lora rated it it was amazing. Zinsser is such an easy apparently writer and thinker that I don't know why I haven't come back to these again and again. Easily remedied. Mar 02, Tom McCleary rated it it was amazing.
Beyond being instructional on what makes for good writing, this book introduced me to some books that I have added to my ever-growing "want to read" list. May 25, Sabeena rated it it was amazing. This book is a treat for 'generalists' that are curious about all subject matters and want to write about them, be it Mathematics, Sciences or Humanities! And you CAN successfully write about mathematics, chemistry and music in clear and plain English because Zissner will show you that you can.
This book is a handbook for people of any academic background who have ever felt This book is a treat for 'generalists' that are curious about all subject matters and want to write about them, be it Mathematics, Sciences or Humanities! This book is a handbook for people of any academic background who have ever felt that writing seemed to have belonged to the Humanities but that harboured a love for prose and wanted to incorporate it into their learning without the worry of being treated as non-serious.
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Prose writing about mathematics has integrity! Read this to find out the how's and whys. The book is full of highly quotable ideas that are a useful learning tool for all of us who don't want to fall into any one particular subject category and want to write across the curriculum. And demonstrates that 'the same principles of good writing would apply to them all'.
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Some highlights Preface: 'it's not necessary to be a "writer" to write well. Clear writing is the logical arrangement of thought' 'writing and thinking and learning were the same process' P. I've also become a logic nut. I'm far less preoccupied than I once was with individual words and their picturesque roots and origins' P. Read it, study it, think about it. Jul 19, Kerry rated it really liked it Shelves: writing-and-journalism. This book was an interesting read, especially if you deal with writers in a professional sense as an editor or as a writer. That said, it is not a how-to guide.
What it does is get the reader thinking about how writing can complement and supplement a person's understanding of any subject. As a writer, I'm not sure this book did much for me. As an editor, I found it enlightening, interesting, and enjoyable.
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It's easy to suggest to someone that thoughts need to be put down in an orderly fashion an This book was an interesting read, especially if you deal with writers in a professional sense as an editor or as a writer. It's easy to suggest to someone that thoughts need to be put down in an orderly fashion and convey personality, humanity, and enthusiasm for the subject--and in an editing capacity, the editor can objectively help the writer gain her footing when the foundation shifts; as a writer, though, well.
This book doesn't tell the reader how to do anything, but it does give examples of others who have done it brilliantly in case examples are needed. Sep 03, Rebecca rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: teachers, writers, learners.