Saturday, May 11, 2013

How To Write Good – ADDENDUM #2

Some blog followers might be interested in a recent post “How To Write Good – ADDENDUM #2” [Hake (2013)]. The abstract reads:

ABSTRACT: In response to “How to Write Good” [Hake (2013)] at, Gene Glass wrote (paraphrasing): “The Elements of Style [Strunk & White (1959, 2000)] at might be the undergrad’s guide to good writing, but Jacques Barzun’s (1975, 2001) Simple & Direct at is surely the postgraduate textbook.”

That Simple & Direct is also “Thorough and Scholarly” is manifest in its CONTENTS page:
I. DICTION, or Which Words to Use
II. LINKING, or What to Put Next
III. TONE AND TUNE, or What Impression Will It Make
IV. MEANING, or What Do I Want to Say?
V. COMPOSITION, or How Does It Hang Together
VI. REVISION, or What Have I Actually Said?
Hints Toward Improving the Quoted Sentences
Index of Words, Topics, and Authors

For information on Barzun see e.g.:
(a) the Wikipedia entry at;
(b) the eulogy by Rothstein (2012) at;
(c) the eulogy by Epstein (2012) at;
(d) the interview by Gathman (2000) at;
(e) the biography by Murray (2011) at;
(f) Barzun's (2002) book A Stroll With William James, whom Barzun regarded as his “guide and mentor.”

To access the complete 18 kB post please click on

Richard Hake, Emeritus Professor of Physics, Indiana University
Links to Articles:
Links to Socratic Dialogue Inducing (SDI) Labs:
Google Scholar:

“[Jacques Barzun] wrote in a flawless and magisterial manner on a vast array of subjects: Darwin, Marx, Wagner, Berlioz, William James, French verse, English prose composition, university teaching, detective fiction, the state of intellectual life, and finally, published when he was 93, his magnum opus, From Dawn to Decadence: 500 Years of Western Cultural Life, 1500 to the Present. None of this writing seemed motivated by his desire to advance his career; all of it derived from genuine intellectual passion.”
- Epstein (2012)

REFERENCES [URL’s shortened by and accessed on 11 May 2013.]
Epstein, J. 2012. “Jacques Barzun: An Appreciation” Wall Street Journal, 26 Oct., online to subscribers at (non-subscribers can read the entire article by searching Google for “Jacques Barzun: An Appreciation.”

Hake, R.R. 2013. “How To Write Good – ADDENDUM #2,” online on the OPEN! Net-Gold archives at Post of 11 May 2013 14:56:55 -0700. The abstract and link to the complete post are being transmitted to several discussion lists.

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