|Your name: Sarah Mahoney
Your home town: Smithfield, RI
Your major(s): Economics & Biology
Are you fluent in any language(s) other than English? Italian
What are your career plans?
Good question! I’m currently pre-med, and right now I’m considering either med school or a PhD in economics and seeing where that leads me.
What is your favorite book or author and why?
Dorothy Sayers (author of the Peter Whimsey mystery novels) is my favorite author. Her mastery of the English language is superb; her characters are vivid and dynamic; her writing is enthralling, endlessly witty, and never formulaic. I love mystery novels, and Dorothy Sayers is a master of the form.
What is your favorite word?
Describe a significant breakthrough in your development as a writer.
For most of my writing career, I thought of writing as an algorithm: 1.) Intro paragraph (hook, some background info, thesis statement), 2.) Body paragraphs (topic sentence, supporting evidence/reasoning, transition), 3.) Concluding paragraph (summary of topic sentences, restatement of thesis statement). I believed that as long as writing (which, in my mind, consisted purely of academic, thesis-driven writing) followed this basic formula, and conformed to basic norms of grammar, syntax, and tone, the writing was “good.” It wasn’t until senior year, thanks to the instruction of my amazing and insightful English teacher Mr. Tansky, that I realized writing is about more than checking elements off a list. It’s a powerful tool to convey meaningful information, insights, analyses, and anything else one person could possibly want to communicate to another. Mr. Tansky taught me how to write with a purpose, and how to use words and all their related rhetorical devices and techniques express something meaningful. He forever changed my approach to writing.