Writing With Authority

The reading that my group was assigned to was Writing With Authority. This article was insightful in that it spoke about different writing techniques, a few of which I could personally identify. After reading this article, I realized that my style varies depending on the intention of my writing. For instance, when I studied at LSE last year  I wrote more like Roger’s character, making a claim then putting that claim in conversation with other scholars and thinkers to find my independent opinion on the said claim or ideology that I was debating with. However, similar to Janet’s character,  I can also remember writing in less sophisticated terms in my coursework for my History course my sophomore year.
I remember not understanding what exactly my History professor expected of my writing when asked to write book reviews for his course. I had a similar challenge last semester with another History professor who wanted me to do precisely what Roger was good at doing, “…recognize that knowledge develops through conversation and debate by actively analyzing authors’ assumptions and motivations and the situations in which they work.”  Because I have so much difficulty implementing this technique in my academic courses, I would like to improve my own writing. I always find it a challenge to switch tones, from journalistic to academic.


Brittany Smith

University of Michigan (first year) senior, Detroit native.

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