Taylor Swift made waves not long ago by penning an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal about the future of the music business. Most people focused on Taylor’s optimism about the industry, but now, her actual writing ability has been put under a microscope.
Entertainment Weekly invited Margo Mifflin, a professor of English at the City University of New York, to “grade” Taylor’s essay and point out any flaws. Professor Mifflin’s opinion? “She has a strong, effervescent writing style,” she told the magazine. “But the piece has serious focus problems. It skids all over the place.” She gives Taylor a B-minus.
Taylor’s essay includes her thoughts about how artists need to surprise fans constantly and take musical risks, how albums can become best-sellers if they connect emotionally with listeners and how autographs and distinctions between musical genres are both obsolete.
For comparison’s sake, Mifflin also critiqued a piece by George Clooney, in which he expressed his anger and frustration over a story in a British tabloid claiming that his future mother-in-law opposes him marrying her daughter. She gave Clooney’s effort an A-minus, saying that his writing was “pointed” and “persuasive,” but “a little too concise.”
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