No Place I’d Rather Be

I am actually really happy with the writing that we’ve done for this course. My whole academic career, I’ve been at least a little bit opposed to the academic papers I have had to write. They always seem so formal and rigid, and depending on the teacher and the class, they may force me to write about things I do not care so much about, or at least in perspectives that barely interest me. Exploring myself as a writer has been a fun and enlightening experience in many ways. Writing from my perspective has been transformative.

However! There is always some room for improvement, and I think this is a good to go ahead and voice my opinions on what I think I would have liked to be working on during class time and outside the classroom.

We do a lot of reading in this class on abstracts; we learn about style, genre, and rhetoric in their broader contexts, and then apply it to our own work and to other writers’ works. This is very informative and interesting, and helps us better evaluate those pieces which we find interesting and influential. I think in order to supplement this process of learning, it would have been helpful to practice with specific genres and styles of writing. I know I chose journalism as my genre and the New York Times style of investigative journalism and objective writing. This was all my decision, though, and looking back, I think it would have pushed me to better understand style and genre if I was told to, for instance, choose another classmate’s exemplar genre and style, evaluate it, and attempt to write in it. This could be a cool classroom activity or something along those lines. Basically, getting to see and learn to write in genres and styles different from what I am already familiar with.

I think context in writing is also very important, and we have talked a lot about that as well. Gauging the audience and evaluating the purpose of any piece and the exigence are aspects of my writing that I will carry with me forever. That is how important they are. Sometimes, I had wished we worked more with this idea. We could have done fun writing activities in class in which we took one concept and applied it to different contexts, with different audiences and different exigence, so as to practice our manipulation of rhetoric. This could be a really fun and interesting activity!
Those are my ideas for now. I really have enjoyed writing about projects that have meant a lot to me in this class. It has been an outlet to pursue my true writing aspirations. I have become a lot more knowledgeable on issues that I care about and on how to write about them.

2 thoughts to “No Place I’d Rather Be”

  1. Hi Wyatt,

    I think you bring up some really great suggestions for the class. I also wish that we were pushed a little more to explore other genres. For me, I chose to do The New Yorker and while it was my decision, I also wish I knew what else was out there and could play around with a genre I was unfamiliar with–to a further extent than the New Yorker.

    Additionally, your note about focusing on the audience is something that is also a big takeaway for me from this class. I’m not sure if you’ve taken other writing classes at Michigan, but I know from my experience that the importance of writing to your audience is not emphasized nearly enough. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and recommendations for the class!

  2. Hi Wyatt! I think it would have been cool if we spent a class or two exploring a few different genres. I do think its really difficult to nail down even one genre though, so I feel like that would most definitely have its challenges. I chose the New York Times because I thought that I was already somewhat comfortable with that style, but maybe I should have picked something else in order to learn more. At the same time, I think I gained a lot from the project I chose, so I’m not too concerned.

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