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ERIC Number: ED402584
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Mar
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
America Inc.: John Dos Passos'"USA" as Professional Writing Textbook.
Di Renzo, Anthony
While working as a special consultant for General Mills in 1948, John Dos Passos wrote a report explaining the latest scientific research and technological advancements and how the postwar economy was affecting General Mills and the cereal market. General Mills, using a real writer for a corporate freelance, profited from Dos Passos' expertise and reputation. His "USA" trilogy was a blend of fiction, Forbes-style reportage, and economic analysis. As a history of American business from 1870 to 1935, "USA" is as exhaustive as it is colorful. For an instructor who uses it in a professional writing class, "USA" is an ideal primer for work-related writing. It can be read as an epic of early corporate communications, with its lessons divided between the practical and the promotional, and these business parables often translate into imaginative and effective writing exercises. Dos Passos becomes a model for resume composition with concrete specific words, factual details, and a strong narrative. Lessons in promotional writing concentrate on issues of audience and rhetoric. On the eve of the 21st century, when computers and electronic mail have made work-related writing more essential, challenging, and creative than ever, "USA" is still an important resource. (CR)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A