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Through the self-publishing company Lulu Press, H. Charles Romesburg ’60 released How about it, Writer? The reference book improves writing skills and creativity by offering lists of 1,616 opening sentences, 1,633 titles, hundreds of transition sentences, and more gathered from the author’s reading of more than 12,000 published works. The book targets nonfiction writers, especially those composing persuasive essays.

Romesburg began compiling the lists to aid his own writing and only thought of publishing them five years ago. He tested the lists’ effectiveness with his students at Utah State University, where he is a professor at the College of Natural Resources. Their positive feedback encouraged him to publish. Romesburg consulted the works from which he gathered the lists for his own research. He found that many useful ideas came from essays published prior to 1950.

He credits Lafayette with instilling in him an appreciation of good writing, especially essay writing. Although he was a mechanical engineering major, he found great value in the English classes that engineering majors had to take to fulfill degree requirements.

“It turned out that these courses have had a great unexpected influence on my life – not immediately at the time, but in later years,” Romesburg comments. “I fell in love with the essay as the most important means of communication on serious topics.”

Romesburg says one professor of these compulsory courses, Cleveland Jauch, had the most important influence on his literary pursuits.

“He gave me a taste for the essay as an art form that has lasted my entire life and has proven essential for my becoming a professor,” he recalls. “I’m not sure what made him so effective, but I guess his love of the essay as a literary form infected me with my love for it.”

Romesburg holds a master’s degree from Arizona State University and a doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh.

How about it, Writer? is 194 pages and can be purchased for $16.95 at or $22.95 from bookstores and His other works include The Life of the Creative Spirit and Cluster Analysis for Researchers. Romesburg donates all proceeds from the sale of his books to no-kill animal shelters.

Categorized in: Alumni Profiles