Finding a voice that your readers will enjoy is a matter of taste. Saying that isn't much help -- taste is a quality so intangible that it can't even be defined. But we know it when we meet it. A woman with taste in clothes delights us with the ability to turn herself out in a combination that is not only stylish and surprising, but exactly right. She knows what works and what doesn't. (Zinsser 236) Think of the tv show "Absolutely Fabulous."


Edina Monsoon is a spoiled London rich girl who grew up in the hedonistic excesses of the 70's, with no taste and waaay too much permissiveness. With her best friend Patsy Stone, she drinks, smokes and drugs like there is no tomorrow, and goes along with anything, no matter how foolish or downright ridiculous, as long as it's trendy. "...Chanel, Dior, Lagerfeld, Givenchy, Cartier, darling - names, names, NAMES!!!"

Pats and Eddy are vapid, superficial, self-centered, obnoxiously irredeemable, politically incorrigible, and so much fun you're liable to hurt yourself laughing (here, darling - a little Stoli. For the pain.) They've been together so long they sometimes forget where one ends and the other begins, except at critical spots, like going through airport customs after a trip to Morocco (in unison: "it's hers!"). (Falken, pars. 1-4)

The two Ab Fab women are very similar to college writers. College writers, like the Fab writers, tend to write in hedonistic excess, with no taste, and fill their papers with trendiness. These students have written so long without a voice that they sometimes forget that this element is crucial in a well- written paper.

Pats and Eddy


A Writer's History

Definition of Voice

When an essay DOESN't has a voice

When it HAS a voice

Voice Tips