I chose to analyze my final paper from my English 225 class, written this spring. The fifteen page research paper showed how my writing ability had improved throughout the course, what my style seemed to look like, and how I chose to present a lot of information. The title was “The New Pioneers of Digital Music: Spotify and Pandora,” which attempts to convince readers that these companies / services are beneficial to many aspects of the music industry.
The first thing I noticed was my voice in the paper, which is a part of my style. I recall when writing the paper, that I hated sounded too formal, and simply presenting information as if this is fact without offering any reasoning or connection with the reader. So I chose to write in a way where my voice was apparent, though much of the time it was still presenting information formally. I noticed in the first page I used “I” at least a couple of times, and this was my goal so that it almost seemed like I was having a conversation with the reader. Although I prefer writing that style, it isn’t always effective when writing formal research papers or some argumentative ones, which my teacher and I discussed.
I am also noticing now, that I used a lot of periodic sentences. That is definitely my “GO-TO” sentence shape. I would state the main clause early on and build to the meaning of the sentence at the end. I suppose I may have done this to build drama or make the writing more interesting to read. Although I did not really know I was writing periodic sentences, I did know that there were multiple ways to phrase the sentence and I chose the periodic way quite often.
I also tend to write a lot of compound (one or two commas) sentences, as well as some complex ones. My teacher from that class told me that when you want to state something with an impact, it can be best to leave it as a simple sentence / statement, since more additions and qualifiers to the sentence can take away from the original statement. I noticed I took her advice throughout the paper and included some short statements of impact as well.
As I discussed with my teacher, my tone was also very positive, which tends to be my natural writing style thus far. This can be good sometimes, as the reader may feel comfortable, but other times it needs to be more realistic when dealing with subjects that have multiple points of views or issues that aren’t always positive. I remember revising my paper to adjust my tone accordingly.
Finally, a big part of my writing style that I consciously decided is that I prefer to write in a way that anyone can understand it. I am not a fan of complicated meanings, conversational phrases, silly metaphors and cute anecdotes. However I also don’t like to write in a way that is stuffy and formal. Therefore I think this paper is an example of how I like to write. One classmate said to me after reading it, “I can hear you saying all of this to me, its just like you were speaking it.” I guess that is the style I prefer to write currently, but I am realizing I need to push my boundaries and try other things.