Me, Myself, and My Style?

What a blissful period of time in my life when I thought this whole thing would be easy as pie. Turns out I was mistaken. I did not anticipate the challenges of transforming my blog into an advice column to be so difficult. Yes, that is the point of the project, to expand my horizons and test my creativity, but it is a lot more complicated than it seems. I discovered that when I was writing my advice column I was forcing a lot of things. I found myself embellishing… A LOT. I was forcing words and phrases in places that I really did not need them. This aspect of my writing reminded me of a lesson I learned in high school from the book “The Elements of Style” by Strunk and White. One of their rules was “Omit Needless Words.” Well it turns out I needed to revisit that lesson and do some thinking in how I was going to establish my voice.

I like to think I am funny sometimes and I think that is definitely prevalent in my writing style. I have not had many opportunities to write freely for non-academic purposes; therefore, my own voice really has the opportunity to shine through. I think that adding a bit of my sense of humor into my advice column will establish my tone for the piece. The way I see it, people don’t want to be told what to do, so if there looking for advice, the last thing I want to do is put readers through a boring list of do’s and don’ts. I have gained a lot of knowledge from my model source in the areas of structure and tone. In the advice column I have chosen to emulate, the author establishes her tone of voice and is consistent with her voice and sentence structure. I think that I am still trying to evaluate how I want my syntax to develop.

I did not incorporate too many new words or phrases into my first draft. I began the process writing what I researched and what I know, therefore it was very much dependent on my tone. There are still areas I hope to expand on from my first draft to my second and I am excited to continue the process!

Allison Skaggs

Hello all! My name is Allison Skaggs and I am a junior at Michigan. I am from Orange County, California and decided to come to Michigan for a different kind of college experience! Currently, I am on the women's varsity water polo team and plan on majoring in Sport Management. Some things I enjoy during my time off are reading, swimming, attending sports games, and spending time with friends and family.

2 thoughts to “Me, Myself, and My Style?”

  1. Allison, it sounds like our entire blog group is facing challenges when it comes to clarity and simplicity in writing. Being in the Writing Minor, it feels as though we should be writing like Shakespeare or Twain. In reality, the goal is to become proficient in connecting with various audiences and relaying thought-provoking arguments and information. I think your comment about relaying your personal tone in your work holds a lot of truth; a list of do’s and dont’s will likely bore your reader. But once you add your own style, the writing will come to life. I look forward to seeing the progression of your column and eventually viewing the final product! Good luck.

  2. Ah, Strunk and White! I read “Elements of Style” the week before school started and I am also feeling the need to revisit it. I think the most important thing in an advice column is to balance authority with approachability; we want to be able to trust your knowledge without feeling alienated by it. I agree that humor is a great way to connect with readers and help ground your tone, but make sure it is YOUR style of humor, or else it may come off forced.

Leave a Reply