I’ve realized throughout this semester that I assume too much. I come up with these elaborate ideas and map them out for myself in an outline, but when it comes to writing them, I act like the reader is in my head. I under-explain.
This was brought to my attention first when I received the following comment from my GSI:
“Your explanation might have explored in more detail the ways in which rendering the J and P Gods in this way illuminated certain aspects of the text, or dealt with the implications of doing so.”
The piece was for my “The Bible as Literature” course. I wrote a dialogue between the J and P Gods, which are both the God in the Bible, but, according to Bible scholars, written by different sources. Each source seemed to give God a different personality and tendency, so I created a conversation between the two.
Clearly, my ideas for how the conversation between the Gods illuminated particular parts of the text could have been better. But I guess I just assumed the people reading my paper were knowledgable about the Bible and would pick up on the interpretations I was making without me having to say them.
So I could try to be a bit more explicit about the implications of my claims. I guess I just get worried that I will over-explain things and will both make the piece boring and the reader feel underestimated.
Plus, it always brings me a small sense of accomplishment when I understand what the author is getting at when they don’t delineate everything. But maybe I just need to get better at doing that. Or maybe a bit of clarity isn’t such a bad thing.