Challenge Journal – Only in my head

Hello, everyone!

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.

2 thoughts to “Challenge Journal – Only in my head”

  1. Hey Lauren,

    I ran across this problem working on my capstone as well. On the one hand, I would make assumptions that reader knew what I knew, and certain things didn’t need to be explained. But even when I realized this, I would often start to over-explain things, and maybe come off slightly patronizing, which isn’t any better. As much as I hate revising, revising seems to be the thing that helps me the most with correcting this- especially when I’m able to get a lot of time separation between when I write something and when I go back to edit. Do you think you were able to iron this out in your project by the end of it?

    1. Thanks for following-up! Yes, I do feel like I was able to mitigate this issue for the most part. I do wonder if I may have actually repeated myself too many times or not, but this is something I’ll go back and determine with fresh eyes (as you said was beneficial.)

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