Back for Round 2

Hi again!

My name is Sara Estes and I’m a senior in my last semester here at Michigan (still in denial about that). I’m originally from Cincinnati, Ohio but have loved calling Ann Arbor home for the last three and a half years — especially because of all of the amazing restaurants throughout the city.

Speaking of food, one of my writing communities is an online food publication called Spoon University. I used to be a writer but now spend most of my time editing and managing the editorial operations. Spoon is geared toward a college-aged audience, and includes everything from recipes and restaurant reviews to opinion pieces and articles about news in the food industry. That being said, Spoon prides itself on not having a specific “voice” because we can each write in a casual way as if we’re talking to our peers. Even though writers are not very restricted in our style of writing, we definitely follow some unofficial rules in the way we write. Most articles have a light-hearted tone with colloquial language, humor, and sarcasm.

Switching gears a bit, my other writing community exists within a class I took last semester. It was an upper level writing Economics course, which was a little hard for me to wrap my head around in the beginning. It turned out economics requires a very specific style of writing, and our professor even made us buy a whole book dedicated to economical writing. As I wrote my 2-page assignments each week and eventually my research paper, I quickly learned that my lengthy and descriptive style of writing was not going to cut it. I received my assignments back with words, phrases, and even entire sentences crossed out. Introductory words and phrases like “this,” “these,” “in addition,” and “finally,” are frowned upon and adverbs are an economical writer’s biggest enemy. Writing about economics means writing in a very straightforward way with no “fluff” added in between.

At first it seemed like these two communities of mine had nothing in common. But with some more thought I realized that they share a similarity in their styles of short and straightforward sentences. For Spoon, these short sentences come with the creative freedom that writers can use as they include a mix of short and long sentences for various desired effects. With the economics writing, these short sentences are necessary, if not required, in order to have an effective piece of work. I think this similarity also highlights a huge difference between the two: with Spoon there are virtually no rules, but with economics writing the rules are key.

It wasn’t until after joining Spoon that I realized my love and passion for writing, and it was a main reason why I applied to the Writing Minor. I loved being able to write about topics I liked in a very informal yet creative way. After taking this upper level writing Econ class, I have found yet another reason to love writing. There are so many different types of writing, and I really enjoyed exploring a new style and broadening my skills and knowledge, though it was definitely a challenge. I now find myself looking into new forms of writing all the time, so I guess I have Econ 491 to thank for this newfound curiosity within writing. I can’t wait to see what this semester in the Capstone has in store for me!

 

5 thoughts to “Back for Round 2”

  1. Hey Sara,

    As I’m currently enrolled in an Econ ULWR, I can’t say your description brought me much comfort, but I’m happy to hear that it ended up being a worthwhile experience. I strongly agree with you that in the end, two completely different mediums of writing have a number of similarities. And as writing minors, it’s our duty to enjoy most of it! Nice post – looking forward to seeing more of your work over the course of the semester.

    Max

  2. Hey Sara!

    As you know I also write for Spoon University! I think you are exactly right in the similarities you found between your Econ ULWR and Spoon, short and straight forward sentences. Although I have not taken an Econ ULWR I can imagine the pressure to produce papers that are informative and straight to the point. Spoon also fosters this same belief of having short and concise writing, but with a twist. Like you mentioned everything on Spoon has a specific voice with colloquial language, humor and sarcasm. I too love writing about things I am interested in a fun and engaging way. Great post!

    Hannah

  3. Sara,

    I enjoyed reading how you were able to draw together similarities between two very different forms of writing. I usually enjoy writing without rules, but like you I can find the value in writing with rules as well. I like your optimistic viewpoint about exploring different forms of writing – it makes me excited to explore more as well!

    -Julia

  4. Sara,

    We were asked to write about something similar in Shelley’s Capstone course. I wrote about something very similar as well. I write for the Wolverine Cuizine, which seems to be something similar to Spoon University. On the other hand, I write for a blog that involves science writing, which doesn’t allow as much freedom and creativity. The science writing I do needs to be very straight forward as well, which is good for practice in being precise; however, does not allow for much creativity. Personally, I find that I get a lot more short-term pleasure from my Wolverine Cuizine posts since they allow me to be myself. However, longterm, I like what I produce from my science blog. We take so much more time with revision and research that the final product seems a lot more intelligent. There are pros and cons to both kinds of writing, but I love them both for what they are.

    Can’t wait to read more of your posts!
    Kaitlynn

  5. Hey Sara,
    I can definitely relate to the feeling of being governed by rules in certain genres of writing. I took a class in psychology that followed very similar rules. Unlike you, however, I was totally discouraged and frustrated by this form of writing. It’s great that you were able to move past this difficulty and see it as an opportunity to explore a new mode of writing. Also, you’ve drawn many interesting similarities between these two forms of writing — it seems that the more of these posts I read, the more that all forms of writing seem to consist of many characteristics.

    Cameron

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