ENG015 - How to Say Nothing in 500 Words Article Notes.docx

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ENGL 015
Erica Stevens

How to Say Nothing in 500 WordsArticle • Core principles of good writing remain constant: o Be concrete o Get to the point o Express your opinions colorfully • Writer’s essential task: make a dull subject interesting • AVOID THE OBVIOUS CONTENT o Begin by writing down all the first arguments then come to mind… then make sure you use none of that material. o Sum up and dispose of the trite and conventional points before expressing your own to indicate that you won’t be trite or conversational  Ex. We are often told that college football should be abolished because it has become too  commercial or because it is bad for the players. These arguments are no doubt very  cogent, but they don't really go to the heart of the matter. • TAKE THE LESS USUAL SIDE o Take the side that looks the hardest and least defensible b/c it usually is easier to be interesting using that. • SLIP OUT OFABSTRACTION o Get down to the particulars o More from the generality (the abstract statement) to the concrete example (facts, figures, illustrations) • GET RID OF OBVIOUS PADDING o First draft should be longer than the required total and then you work it down. o Dig up more real content instead of using obvious points and circling around them • CALLAFOOLAFOOL o Do not be excess
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