by Tolly Taylor '12
For Professor Bernard, strong English papers must have one component: clarity. When we first talked over his ideas, I thought maybe Professor Bernard was over-simplifying his criteria for good writing. As I learned, however, clarity means much more than I initially understood. Clarity, it turns out, provides the final golden point to the paper’s pyramid—without clarity, the paper isn’t complete and doesn’t truly shine, yet, if the paper doesn’t have the other necessary building blocks, then there’s no place for clarity, either. In other words, without the essential building blocks of an essay, the writer compromises any chance at clarity. With these components in place, however, the writer can revise his work and make sure that his argument threads its way throughout the paper.