Jacquelyn Blain

Read like a Writer

In Bunn’s paper “Read like a Writer” he sates that You are already an author”; in my opinion Bunn means that even though we might think we are not writers, we have already created and published or created something. An author is define as a maker of anything; whether its a post on twitter, or writing a diary we have all written or created something that makes us authors. In my life, I have written short stories, had a diary, and wrote essays on various topics for college. Even at work, I am writing emails and I have to choose my words very carefully. How we choose to use our words can have a positive or negative impact on the meaning we are trying to convey. 

A technique that I am going to apply that Bunn mentioned that one of his students suggested was to make notes as I read. Normally when I read for a paper I rely on what I can remember and let my writing flow organically. However, this can lead to my message being lost. Making notes in the margins as I read can better capture the thoughts I have about what read and I can better articulate my thoughts better in my paper.

Using annotations is a whole new experience for me. On one hand, its almost like reading an essay with notes written on the margins whereas it cannot really replace having a discussion amongst your peers about what you read. Things like tone and body language are missed when you post; the message you are trying to convey can be lost. Bunns paper on “Reading like a Writer” shows how important that we choose our words carefully. The reader cannot rely on social cues to understand what you are trying to say, so how you choose what to say and how you say it is even more critical. 

1 Comment

  1. Jacquelyn Blain

    You got it. And partly, I think, it’s because you have a job where you’re dealing with writing all the time professionally. It really hits home when we get into those positions and start to understand how the choice of words etc can impact our intended audience.

    Interesting about annotating on something like Perusall. Yep, body language and nuance are certainly missing. I always think of annotating as part of a process: read – annotate – discuss. Hard to do the last part in a virtual environment, but…

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