She's also providing a clinic on the proper use of an English major.
You can change the world with an English major. You can use it to learn how to write like Sabrina Rubin Erdely. From her opening paragraphs:Cite the example, then reinforce the general principle.
She knew to start not with statistics and histories, and not with outrage and disbelief, but right in the thick of the immediacy of the attack: Present tense for Jackie’s ongoing recall (“she remembers”), past for the sober precision of her narration, with the author adding nothing by way of emotion. With this sort of material, you park yourself in neutral and let the tale tell itself. This is what you learn if you study the greats – Orwell, Didion, Capote, Vidal.The master knows how to cut the wood cleanly. The apprentice must master the technique.
You see how she’s opted against commas and semi-colons in the first sentence, in order to let the violent and confusing rush of the events re-present themselves? You see how she’s learned alliteration and assonance (last man sank) along the way, so that our inner ear enters into her poetic rhythm and keeps going?Note, also, the presence of the absence, here absence of the elephantine prose or the theorrhea that too many people confuse with highbrow writing.
This, too, is proper technique. Just make sense. Don't destroy the universe. Don't get carried away by metaphor. Don't do it in real time. That's not as terse as "brief and clear; in the prescribed forms when applicable; and without erasure, alteration, interlineation or punctuation" and yet the desired result, that the message be read and understood, which ought to be the goal of writing, whether in the service of telling a story or of keeping the railroad fluid.