With Diane at the Conference on College Composition & Communication, we've already got composition on the brain here in the academic department. And funnily enough, a Wednesday Washington Post column by Pulitzer Prize-winner George F. Will seems to have renewed interest in our much-beloved composition title, William Zinsser's On Writing Well. Zinsser's classic guide to writing nonfiction was published over 30 years ago, but its insights on style and form remain as important as ever.
With over a million copies sold, it is certainly one of the most popular didactic texts on writing ever published, and for good reason, according to George F. Will in his article "William Zinsser and Good Writing as Art". Will says that to read Zinsser's work is to "see craftsmanship" in the mastery of the English language—Zinsser may not toot his own horn, but, "others...who cherish the craft of writing should toot it for him." While Zinsser's book always does well, Will's column propelled it to #45 on the Amazon bestsellers list yesterday. If you're interested in learning more about the classic On Writing Well, please click here.