My first idea for my BUS584 research paper got shot down. It needs to concern some nexus of society, government, and business. An analysis of why Penn State's Office of the Bursar provides sub-par service does not have a broad societal impact. Back to the drawing board....

William Zinsser's On Writing Well is not well-written. The first 7 chapters are spent telling us:

  1. Write for your audience.
  2. Understand why each word, clause, sentence, paragraph, and chapter is needed.
Having proved that good advice is hard to follow, Zinsser moves on to proving the inverse. He warns us against using a tape recorder when interviewing someone, as tape recorders have been known to fail. Rather, we should scribble while our interviewee speaks, since we can always just ask them to wait while we catch up. Zinsser rejects tape recorders, even though they are the best insurance against being accused of a misquote.

Ignoring Zinsser's technophobia and muddled expositions, his book is an attempt to address a fundamental question, "Why are some constructions better than others?". He can't be faulted for trying; it's just that the problem still isn't solved.