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Lucas Center Blog

Book Club Reflection: Style Lessons in Clarity & Grace

November 18, 2021  / Conan Griffin, M.Litt.  / Tags: FormalWriting, Style, EffectiveWritingStrategies

styleIn this book club’s first session, participants discussed the “rules” of formal writing and separated useful “rules” from unnecessary ones. The group also delved into the history of unclear writing and how verbose writing with a lot of fancy words is still promoted and seen as “better” or more “intellectual” than clear, straightforward prose.


Over the next two sessions, the group learned specific strategies for writing effective sentences and then discussed how to use those strategies in email writing and assignment guidelines.


In the final session, the group discussed the ethics of effective writing and how writers can use certain strategies (e.g., passive voice) to obscure meaning if those writers have unethical aims. Ethical writers, on the other hand, can use strategies to make meaning clear.