In class yesterday we worked with a tool on www.writersdiet.com. This exercise allowed us to examine a paragraph from our developmental essays, discovering where our writing is on a scale from “lean” to “heart attack territory.” My paragraph received an overall “needs toning” rating, especially when it came to verbs and it, this, that, and there words.
A few pieces of my writing have been completely free from a rubric. I wrote a letter to the editor following last year’s State of the Union Address, and it ended up getting published in the Michigan Daily and the Detroit Free Press. I was upset about the republican response to the speech, and I used this anger to create my own ‘prompt’ of sorts. This was one of my proudest moments as a writer. Obviously, I am my own worst critic, and I can look at the piece and see a million different changes I would make were I to write it all over again, but I got so much pleasure writing this and it has shown me how central writing is to my life. If I see things I disagree with, I can write through those frustrations to enact change. It has opened up many new career possibilities for me, including speechwriting and ghostwriting, supporting political players who align with my ideology. My capstone project, writing the State of the Union address, is my first foray into this type of writing. This is one of the greatest things about the Minor – I have been able to explore these types of writing with substantial faculty support and without worrying about a numerical score associated with the writing.
I went through, editing the highlighted words and restructuring sentences. Some phrases, such as “State of the Union” and “Letter to the Editor” couldn’t be changed, but the process was helpful! After my edits, I received a lean rating in all categories… I think I took unhealthy pride in this 🙂 I enjoyed using the Writers Diet tool and plan on running some paragraphs from other class assignments through the tests as well!
Occasionally, I find ways to write rubric-free. I wrote a letter to the editor following last year’s State of the Union Address, and the Michigan Daily and the Detroit Free Press published my submission. Upset about the formal republican response, I created my own ‘prompt’ of sorts and wrote the letter instead of just complaining with my friends. As my own worst critic, I can look at the piece and see a couple small changes I would make after reflection, but I got so much pleasure writing the letter and the experience showed me how essential writing is to my life. I now comment on disagreeable things, enacting change with my writing. Discovering opportunities for writing outside of my small-minded concept of the practice leads me toward new careers, including speechwriting and ghostwriting. My first academic foray into these genres is my capstone project, writing the State of the Union address. The ability to explore these styles encapsulates the Minor in Writing I receive substantial faculty support and do not fret over a numerical score associated with my writing.