Saw a link to a talk by William Zinsser to foreign students at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. I was drawn to the article because I love William Zinsser. His books On Writing Well and Writing to Learn helped me with elementary school children learning writing skills.

Mr. Zinsser explores his four principles of writing good English: clarity, simplicity, brevity, and humanity. He defines and illustrates each of these fundamentals. He ends his speech with the following chant:

“Repeat after me:

Short is better than long.
Simple is good. (Louder)
Long Latin nouns are the enemy.
Anglo-Saxon active verbs are your best friend.
One thought per sentence.”

Even if English is your first language you will get some great ideas about writing when you read his entire speech at –