What’s my style?

The most recent thing I’ve written was a cover letter for an application to a part-time job, so it’s not exactly a paper, but nonetheless it was easy to find my style throughout the entire page. I’m not one to go for the simplistic. I think this is always because I feel that I’m not explaining enough or that people won’t understand what I want to say if I make my sentences simple. It’s no secret that I love detail and that I love rambling. Almost every single sentence in the cover letter is either a compound or a compound-complex sentence. I’m finding it uncomfortable, even now, trying to write in any other sentence shape. Is simple better? (Yeah, that was hard.)

I’d say that my diction is quite captivating. I’m not trying to be arrogant, but I do have a tendency to write with the intent of capturing my audience and making them feel a certain emotion while reading. And I feel that I accomplish that much of the time when writing for purpose other than reflection as I am now. The chapters on style that we read made me realize that semi-consciously I usually choose one word over another with similar meaning in order to provoke the reader. My word choice falls closer to the abstract side of diction where the words are broad and emotional rather than exact and defining. My writing over dramatizes simplistic ideas a lot of the time and now that I’ve read the chapters on style I’m wondering if this is only confusing my readers instead of achieving my real purpose of invoking emotion. I think that I do this simply to play up my essays, to dress up my obvious lack of ornate vocabulary, and to convince my readers via emotion rather than facts. My inner self-conscience little being is always afraid that people will see through my writing and come to the conclusion that I have no idea what I’m talking about. So I try to make them feel emotion toward my topic rather than spit facts that are probably only half true at best.

I’m guessing that a mix of abstract and concrete diction would make the best argument, but it’s something I’d have to work on in my writing because I don’t think I’m confident enough to go off factual, hard, definite information instead of my gut and my emotions. I think maybe I’m afraid of being proven wrong. . .



One thought to “What’s my style?”

  1. I applaude your ability to be proud of your work and state, “I’d say that my diction is quite captivating. I’m not trying to be arrogant, but I do have a tendency to write with the intent of capturing my audience…” This really reminded me of Orwell’s category of sheer egoism being used in a positive way!

    I also love how you put in the sentence “Is simple better?” while talking about simple and complex sentences. It was a unique way to combine talking about a type of writing while actually using it!

    Lastly, I enjoyed your explanations of why you use emotional writing versus more formal and factual writing, mostly because it is the exact opposite of what I do. In my mind, emotional writing makes me more vulnerable as a writer, whereas I feel like I can put up a front through the use of quotes and formal analysis without exposing myself.

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