For the Love of Revision

In my original source I used the second person. It is definitely a tendency I tend to have, especially when writing something to my friends or to an audience that I would categorize as my peers. I took Academic Argumentation last fall and our professor challenged us to use I in academic writing. Although, the second and first person are different, they both are considered more informal and less authoritative. But the implementation of the second person within writing that is attempting to “help others understand better”, especially when one is attempting to make others feel as if they are in someone else’s shoes. It felt like I was fighting the tendency to write you in almost every sentence.

So that has been a challenge, abandoning these personal aspects. Diversity initiatives should be improving the experiences of its minorities. How do you share experiences with others when it’s necessary to avoid words that are innately personal?

On another note, concerning syntax. Starting off sentences with But and Yet and Thus are definitely my go to’s. Even if it doesn’t show in my draft, which it does, I know this. I’ve become lazy with the way in which I contradict, refute, complicate, or condition statements. I also didn’t include any new words. As a sociology major, I have to be conscious of acronyms like PWI, or terms like “discourse” or “social construction”. I don’t think of these words as jargon, because they are used across disciplines in college, although some may be more relevant to sociology than others. I think I attempted to explain concepts that would be subject to the usage of latinate diction and abstract terms, which i have a tendency to use. Vocabulary is definitely something I need to work on, but it will be easier to make these choices when I receive feedback regarding the effectiveness of descriptions and academic evidence.

The original source I was modeling included a lot of quotations, so their syntax and grammar were very dependent on the content and form of the words being quotes. I however, did not have that many quotations because I was not confident in my ability to conduct interviews that didn’t include leading or double-barreled questions. This is something I may consider during my revision process though. Ultimately, I am unhappy with whatever voice my draft has right now and I am not sure I can focus on style and syntax until I make revisions regarding content, because these things are so dependent on what constitutes the meat of one’s argument.

Kennedy Clark

Kennedy is a Sociology major with an ineptness for exposition and an excessive love for Michigan basketball and pretzels.

2 thoughts to “For the Love of Revision”

  1. Hi Kennedy,

    I want to start off by saying that you’re innate urge to write “you” in almost every sentence is something that I have not experienced. Since coming to college, I have yet to receive an assignment where my professor challenges me to use the second person, so it intrigues me that you are having this struggle. While both of us are writers, we have had completely different experiences in our writing classes which is interesting. I wish I took a class similar to yours, though, because I do find myself in a rut of writing in either first or third person–I’ve yet to experiment with second.

    I also found your question, “How do you share experiences with others when it’s necessary to avoid words that are innately personal?” especially relatable. Over the course of the repurposing project, I have similarly debated sharing experience while abandoning words that have such a personal meaning for me. I’ve never had the ability to articulate that feeling as you have, but now it makes me question why we have to choose one or the other. Do you think it is possible for us to share experiences while including these personal words?

    Similarly, vocabulary is something I have to work on as well. I’ve started to discover that New Yorker articles have such a high degree of vocabulary that I have to constantly look at a thesaurus to see how I can say something more eloquently. How have you dealt with the vocabulary issue? I’d love to talk about that in class tomorrow!

  2. Kennedy: Much like what Caroline had to say, regarding what challenges in writing I’ve been tasked with here at Michigan, I too have yet to have any experience writing an academic paper in the second-person. That being said, I completely get what you mean by abandoning portions of the personal aspects of writing. When speaking on your own experiences, en route to avoiding too personal of a language set, I am interested to see how you will move forward in your vocabulary choice!

    Also, the use of quotations in this assignment is something I can speak very well too. I have a great deal of research under my belt, and feel as if I had used too many quotations in my first repurposing draft. If you are able to strike a balance in your research, I feel that the interview process, used in a similar fashion to Caroline’s process, could also be a fantastic tool for the theme of your paper and your arguments moving forward!

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