Finding Truth

Writing is all about conversation.  In all of my blog posts, I keep referencing George Orwell’s Why I Write, but I feel that it’s still applicable in many writing situations, especially this one.  He mentions that one of the reasons we write is for “political purpose,” with a “desire to push the world in a certain direction, to alter other peoples’ idea of the kind of society that they should strive after.”  While it is true that we often want to influence others, what Orwell fails to touch on is that writing is just as much about changing others’ opinions as it is about formulating your own.  This is especially important in blogging, as there is an instant, direct communication method through comments.  My blog post spits out my own ideas, and then my audience has the ability to respond.

How cute.
A cat. Who doesn't like cats?

The idea of writing as a form of conversation is even important within an essay.  Ann M. Penrose and Cheryl Geiser wrote Reading and Writing without Authority, in which they brought up the idea of writing placing multiple sources in conversation with each other.  Giving two samples of writing, they showed how one piece attacked a topic by trying to find the truth, while the other simply acknowledged facts.  Even though both pieces of writing were excellent, it was clear that the piece that cited multiple sources and searched for answers was the more comprehensive essay.  This is the kind of writing that I am working towards: taking few things as fact and contrasting multiple sources as a way of finding what truth really is.

I want my writing to be more vulnerable.  I’ve been conditioned to treat outside sources as absolute facts when writing research papers.  I needed to support my argument, and so any outside sources were good enough.  However, in the future, I hope to change this.  I’m past the ignorant stage where I wrote just to spit out facts.  Now I see where writing can lead…I can be much more influential through questioning established ideals, taking ideas from various writings and placing them in conversation with my own ideas.  This is how I can be effective, and this is what I will strive for in future writing.

2 thoughts to “Finding Truth”

  1. Excellent commentary. I really liked the part where you stated, ” I’m past the ignorant stage where I wrote just to spit out facts.” I hope to do the same with my writing. It would be really interesting to look at my past writing to see how much it has truly evolved since my freshman year. Even though I am only a sophomore, I would imagine that since that time, my writing has experienced exponential growth and is far better and more insightful since my first essay at the University of Michigan.

    How is it that you think that Rodger the PhDc learned to write so well. I think the major flaw in this article is that it fails to acknowledge his progress as a writer. As an undergraduate student, I am supposed to admire his work and wanna write at his level, however, it does not tell me how he got there, or why I even want to write at his level. But I would have to agree with you, throughout this minor, I want to learn to write with authority, and look critically at the writing that I’ve completed and re-examine whether or not I think that it is ‘good.’

  2. Stephen,

    I REALLY enjoyed reading your post. Your comment that writing is all about conversation took my attention the most. It seems that you’re ultimately saying that writers have the responsibility to write for and with emotion.

    Like you, I believe to write is to be vulnerable. I also believe that to write for public consumption is to share your sense of humility with as many people that will listen to a writer’s social call, or objective report of the rest of the world. I also agree that writing can be especially influential.

    Writing is incredibly influential in that it has the character to decide the direction of the conversation, as well as to convince and highlight an angle of opinion in absence of another. This is what makes writing dramatic and powerful. This impact is what motivates me to write.

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