It’s Been A Long (But Rewarding) Journey

When it comes to the genre and style I’ve adopted for my repurposing project, I’ve found myself creating several elongated thoughts, which could really use another look or two. Since I was in middle school, the comma has been at times both my best friend in writing, and my worst enemy in writing. As I look to mature my writing, and adapt new styles of writing while revising my repurposing project, I have strong hopes that I can work to strengthen my sentence structure and diction in the process.

Syntax has never come to mind for me while writing, I feel that this is the case because my previous teachers had not heavily covered the intricacies of grammar. My personal sentence organization has been either loved or unloved by my previous instructors as well, it comes down to whether the ideas I’m conveying make sense on their own, en route to also getting those thoughts down on paper. That being said, I work to place heavy personal emphasis on using a wide array of vocabulary within my essays. Although certain words in my works of writing feel as if they were lifted directly from the thesaurus, the truth is often that I’ll tend to sit there for minutes at a time, recollecting every which word that could possibly make a given sentence better.

I’m proud of the strides I’ve made in my writing, throughout the course of my continuing education at Michigan. The process in becoming an advanced writer is a long one, no doubt. And with the changes I’ve made in my own bag of tricks, hopefully one day I will make it there.

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. . .



What Does My Writing Look Like?

“Some say, despite this overwhelming evidence, that the income and wealth disparities do not matter as long as GDP continues to grow, but this does not take into account that this inequality threatens the fundamental incentive structure that drives our economy; when workers do not have the opportunity to move up the socio-economic ladder, there is little reason for them to invest in their future with higher education, and therefore they will not have the opportunity to advance in our economy.”

This is an excerpt from a recent paper that I wrote about income inequality in America. Though this particular sentence is slightly long-winded for me, it does give a pretty accurate representation of my writing in terms of shape and diction. This sentence seems to be compound-complex, which is fairly common for my papers because I feel that, as long as my wording is accurate, this style can really illuminate the subject matter. I am very aware of the stigma associated with the use of semi-colons, but I use them reasonably frequently because it gives me an opportunity to further explain my theses in a way that flows more easily than a period would.

In terms of diction, I have noticed that my wording can often be vague, but at the same time vague can be relatable to certain audiences and in certain media. For example, in news media you may find specific details about conflict in Syria but you won’t find sentences like, “Their eyes flickered the mirror image of the incendiary rebellion that raged before them.” This sentence does give me a picture of the conflict in Syria, but it’s imagery is melodramatic to the point of discrediting the author. This is possibly the fine line I am trying to walk as a writer: I want accurate argumentative style and reporting, yet I appreciate the stylistic choices of creative fiction. I just don’t know how to reconcile the two.