Chris Anderson and Lex Runciman's book "Open Questions: Readings for Critical Thinking and Writing" has many times been compared to John Trimble's "Thinking Well: Writing with Style". While the two books may on the surface seem different, the fact that they are considered to be among the best books in advice to students on writing entails that they must have something in common.
While Runciman and Anderson's book seems to be more focused on ethics, reading and conversation and Trimble seems to focus on writing for the understanding of the reader, a careful analysis reveals that the two books are fundamentally similar. Runciman and Anderson talk of persuasive writing by seeking to find the subject matter for writing that is related to ethical principles such as is violence necessary? Is it right to kill? This is the type of writing which will attract the reader's attention (Runciman & Anderson 7). Trimble puts importance on writing on a topic that means something to the writer both emotionally and intellectually.
Trimble advocates an approach of formulation of searching questions that are to draw out the reader's perspective on your given subject matter (Trimble, 7). This can be paralleled to the Runciman Anderson approach, which advocates for the writing approach which is conversational in drawing out the reader's perspective to make him read further(Runciman & Anderson, 9). Trimble talks of analytical and critical selection of words while Anderson and Runciman stress the importance of careful listening to what the audience wants. Trimble also puts emphasis on awareness and respect of the audience which is related to Runciman and Anderson's emphasis on conversation. The emphasis of reading in Anderson's Runciman's text is similar to the emphasis on analytical and critical skills that are stressed by Trimble (Trimble, 5).
Runciman and Anderson place emphasis on how the art of writing is compared to conversation in that, the writer puts himself in the shoes of his reader in order to write what would be of interest to him. Trimble on the other hand, states that the writer will be successful when he starts to acknowledge the needs of the reader (Trimble, 9).