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GB512 Business Communications Unit 3 Discussion

Topic: Respond to Zinsser Section IV titled “Attitudes.”

After you have read Section IV of our Zinsser text titled “Attitudes,” respond to the following:

  • Reflect on the observations Zinsser makes that impresses you as being most relevant and important to you as a student and as a writer.
  • Cite specific passages from the text to support your points, following current APA format. Respond to no fewer than two of your peers’ postings.

In my readings from Zinsser (2016) on Attitudes, the chapters titled “The Sound of Your Voice”, “Enjoyment, Fear and Confidence”, and “The Tyranny of the Final Product” really resonated with me. They gave me some things to think about whenever I am writing something.

Zinsser (2016) begins his chapter on voice with how he wrote two articles, one on jazz and one on sports, and when he wrote them, he didn’t try to alter his writing to fit the subjects. This means he didn’t use sports terms in his sports writing and jazz or music terms in his jazz writing, if it wasn’t something he would normally say. He wrote in his own style. Zinsser then tells us not to “alter your voice” meaning your style to fit what you’re writing about. I have been guilty of doing this in the past. I would write based on who my audience was and what I thought they wanted me to say but I will no longer do this. I will write how I want to write while still getting my message across.

On his chapter regarding emotions, Zinsser (2016) informs us on how fear, confidence and enjoyment can influence our writing. He tells us that we should enjoy what we are writing about, and I agree with this statement. If you don’t enjoy what you’re writing about then it’ll be a drag to write, and you won’t want to do it. If you enjoy what you write, then the words will flow out of you and whatever you’re writing will be written in no time! When it comes to fear, a blank page can be intimidating. Zinsser says that for Americans the fear of writing can be planted at an early age, and this is true. Writing always felt forced for me while in school and I never got the chance to enjoy what I was writing about, so I’ve always hated writing. Sincerity and you are your best credential and that’s where confidence comes in. If you don’t know a lot about what you’re writing about as long as you are sincere and truly care, it won’t matter to your audience.

When Zinsser (2016) writes on “The Tyranny of the Final Product”, he tells us how our goal end results affect how and why we write. Zinsser states that most people can picture their final product in print and that this fixation causes trouble for the writer, “deflecting them from all the earlier decisions that have been made to determine its shape and voice and content” (p. 233). This means that the author will alter their style so that the product fits whatever magazine or newspaper that they already see it in. In prior chapters Zinsser told us to never change our style to fit what we are writing. His final paragraph of the chapter also spoke to me since it told me to really figure out what I want the writing to say but keep my values and such because only then will you be able to sell the writing.

Zinsser has given me a lot to think about when I write to make the writing better and I fully intend on following his advice to strengthen my works. Since reading On Writing Well, I have begun to enjoy what I was writing about because I know how to write.


Zinsser, W. (2016). On writing well: The classic guide to writing non-fiction (7th ed.). Harper Collins.

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