Reading Response for Monday, 9/23

QQC for: Kurt Vonnegut, “How to Write with Style” (p 585 in On Writing)

There is also a McGraw-Hill reading. You don’t have to post about that.


37 thoughts on “Reading Response for Monday, 9/23

  1. In “How to Write with Style”, why does Vonnegut call writers that reveal their personal information in their writing “ink-stained wretches”?
    Why have past English teachers encourage us to write like a cultivated Englishmen of a century?
    I thought it was clever that one of Vonnegut’s writing advises was to not ramble and to explain that statement, he wrote that he wouldn’t remable on about it.

  2. What does Vonnegut mean when he explains what common speech sounds like in his hometown of Indianapolis?

    How would have one of Vonnegut’s teachers, turn him into an Englishman?

    I can relate to Vonnegut when he says, “People don’t really master it even having studied it all through grade school and high school-twelve long years.”

  3. Why does the author find simplicity in language to be so sacred?

    Why do we as readers want our pages to look like pages we’ve seen before?

    I found it interesting that the author thinks knowing what is and what is not interesting is the most damning revelation you can make about yourself.

  4. Why does Vonnegut emphasize to keep it simple?

    How do we, as writers, come up with good advice ourselves?

    Vonnegut’s advice is short, sweet, and to the point. His points he made will help me with my writing.

    -Christie Gleason

  5. How do we simplify our language enough to be well written but not too child-like?

    Vonnegut said to sound like yourself, what if the way I sound is utterly wrong?

    I thought Vonnegut made a good point when he said the reader will “mark you down as an egomaniac or a chowder head.” This shows that to gain respect we must earn it by our writing style.

  6. Renee Lemire
    How do you truly know when to cut out a sentence or phrase that means a lot to you?

    When I am sounding like myself and having the conflict of trying to right in a prestigious manner, how do I find the happy medium?

    Vonnegut’s tips and advice help me obtain more confidence about writing college papers.

  7. How do I write a simple sentence as profound as “To be or not to be”?

    Why are newspaper reporters “freaks” just because they don’t reveal much about themselves?

    I find myself referring back to this excerpt as I work on my paper for help in editing.

  8. How simple is too simple?

    Why write like an Englishman when I do not sound like an Englishman?

    I like how Vonnegut explains how to write in style by using his own style.

  9. Lauren Anthony
    How do you make sentences that are so simple but at the same time mean so much ?
    What if sounding like yourself in writing doesn’t sound good at all?
    The “Pity the Readers” section made me realize that your writing doesn’t have to be perfect English, but writing so they understand is more important.

  10. If its best to keep it simple then why do our papers have a required amount of words needed? what if we don’t need that many words to get our point across?

    If writing about subjects i care about is right then is it okay to write every paper on baseball?

    I liked how in the “do not ramble” section the author didn’t ramble.

  11. Why is Kurt’s favorite sentence in “Eveline” “She was tired” and why would those three words break the heart of a reader?

    Why does Kurt consider Mr. White’s writing “perfectly enchanting”?

    I liked how Kurt Vonnegut did not ramble in his second point “Do Not Ramble, Though” because it was humorous.

  12. Do you agree with Vonnegut’s idea to keep your essay simple or do you think essays are better when they are complex and intricate?

    Why did he advise us to pity and be sympathetic to our readers?

    I agree with Vonnegut that it is most important to be yourself in your writing so it sounds more genuine and heartfelt.

  13. How does someone keep their writing simple and not ramble on, when talking about a subject they care for?
    Why should I dumb down my writing and be sympathetic and patient with my readers through my writing, if it is indeed my writing?
    I like that Vonnegut puts a large emphasis on being yourself in your writing. After all, people should be themselves because everyone else is taken.

  14. Why do you think Kurt Vonnegut refers to newspaper writers as “freaks”?

    In your own opinion, why do you think it is important to know what you are writing about after reading “How to Write with Style”?

    I think Kurt Vonnegut has given great advice on how to create your own writing style, but “say what you mean to say” is the most important part.

  15. Palmer Harper
    Why does Vonnegut want you to want not ramble on about a subject that you really love or care about?
    How does one pity the reader while also sounding like yourself?
    I like Vonnegut what says about cutting and also about saying what you mean to say.

  16. How can you tell what is “interesting and what is not” when you only have your opinion?
    is the author serious when he refer Shakespeare’s writing as childlike?
    the part of not rambling on was the perfect concise explanation of how not to ramble.

  17. -if we write to be understood then why must we mimic anothers style of writing?
    -Terminology has changed over the years (ie. old English to modern English), how can we pity our readers if we do not know what they will understand from our diction?
    – I thought it was cool how he kept his second rule short and simple, and did not ramble on about not rambling on.

  18. Vonnegut’s says to keep essays simple, does that means not giving much detail?

    What does he mean when he calls some newspaper reporters freaks?

    As always everyone has different perspectives, I’m curious to know what is “simple” and what is not “simple” in Vonnegut’s view. Also the part where he mentions be yourself when you write, isn’t that true for everything you do in life….. not only writing.

  19. Do you agree with the author when he says that you you should not write like Pablo Picasso paints?

    Why can it be so hard to get rid of certain lines when you write?

    Vonnegut is so right when he says that your writing is better and more compelling when you are talking about something you are passionate about.

  20. Why does he want us to keep our writing simple? What’s the fun in that?

    Does anyone else find it hard not to ramble while writing?

    I agree in the sense that finding a subject you care about makes writing a lot easier.

  21. Why does Vonnegut tell us to use simple and short sentences when teachers always tell us to be complex?

    How do you sound like yourself and talk about a subject you care about without sounding self absorbed?

    I like how Vonnegut is telling us to be simple and encouraging the reader to talk about what he/she cares about. It would make for much better reading.

  22. Are simple sentences so profound such as “to be or not to be” because that is intended by the author?

    What if you say what you mean to say and the reader still doesn’t understand?

    Best advice was keep it simple no one wants to feel as if they are reading a thesaurus.

  23. How can one be themselves without rambling?

    If you find a subject you care about, How can one avoid rambling?

    I believe if he added a section that dealt with sourcing information, it would help the overall “helping aspect” of this paper.

  24. He says to be sympathetic of our readers and to write simpler, but don’t details help somtimes? Is simple always easier to understand?

    I think it’s best to write what comes from your mind, which is complex. How can you make that simpler? It wouldn’t be the same.

    Vonnegut does a great way of explaining “how to write with style” and the best way to do this is to write about something that you are truly passionate about.

  25. Couldn’t random scribble thoughts also be a writing technique? More of a relaxed writing style easier to understand and less analytical for those who are not big on reading?
    Which do you think readers appreciate more: the quality/style of writing, or a great idea ?
    I agree that a writing piece should reflect the writer’s voice, but I think a lot of the time that is an impossible aspect especially for a formal/research paper.

  26. Do anyone know what the last sentence of the “consider this” part was about?

    What is the best way to cut down on rambling? I tend to rambling a lot in my writing.

    The advice I liked the most was to sound like yourself because when I write I don’t use too high of vocabulary, but not because I don’t know it but because I prefer to write how I speak in person to make my writing seem more personal.

    Le’Otis Boswell-Johnson

  27. What makes the author’s advice noteworthy?
    Why does everything have to be so simple?
    The text made me think of writing in a different way.

  28. Why does the author want us to keep our writing simple when most entertaining books are not simple at all?

    What does simple really mean then?

    It was very ironic how in the “Do Not Ramble” section the author didn’t ramble at all

  29. Does you enjoying your topic make it something that everyone should care about?

    Why do you feel that the author added the section don’t be afraid to cut? Do you feel like he cut parts out in this piece?

    I found it funny that the do not ramble section has no rambling what so ever.

  30. Why did the author write a witty comment about not rambling but wrote so much for keep it simple?
    Why should I pity a reader? I would rather challenge them to understand me and the way my mind works when they read what I write.
    I hate how many people have blogs that post the stupidest things about absolutely nothing. They’re just wasting everybody’s time.
    ~Kaitlyn Klingberg

  31. Does “Sound Like Yourself” pertain to literature that was written in the present but the setting takes place in the past where the dialect would be different?
    Can words be “strung together higgledy-piggledy” and still paint a picture of what the author is trying to get across?
    This is good advice but I also think that it would make writing so simplified that it would be bland.

  32. In “How to Write with Style,” do you agree with the author that if a sentence in your text doesn’t “illuminate your subject in some new and useful way” then it should be cut out all together?

    Is anyone else beginning to enjoy these “How to” passages more and more every time we have to read one?

    I think that Kurt Vonnegut did a good job explaining the steps of “How to Write with Style.” I thought the comment he wrote under the rambling section was clever and provided the reader with a smile during the rest of his somewhat boring instruction book.

  33. What does author’s define simple as ?

    Writing about something you love or passionate about is the most effective way of writing .

  34. Could “do not ramble” and “have the guts to cut” go hand in hand?
    Don’t the “sound like yourself” and “pity the readers” sections contradict themselves in a way?
    I like how simple the guidelines are; there’s nothing terribly complicated about what Vonnegut wrote.

    -Becky B.

  35. Is this writer passionate about us writing better?
    How do newspaper writers and technical writers get trained to reveal nothing about themselves within their writing?
    I loved the simile “like a very pretty girl with one eye that is green and one that is blue.”

  36. Can you tell if Vonnegut is sounding like himself?
    What kind of person do you think Vonnegut is?
    I liked the Keep It Simple paragraph, sometimes people try to hard to sound sophisticated.

    Zachary Anders

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