Why I Write Post

Overall, the genre of “Why I Write” is really interesting given that it is so unique. A couple of examples I found online demonstrate this as this as The Thought Catalog’s Olson writes about “Why I Write About Politics”. Originally thinking about doing a similar piece for my assignment, I realized that this article showed me a lot of what I didn’t want to accomplish. In almost a condescending way, he writes how he would rather write about something else but it is almost his duty to write about political issues. While it may be true, I don’t feel it lets the audience into the writer’s mind in a way that is insightful or telling. It seems to lack depth to the point where I couldn’t really tell much about the writer in a broader way.

In terms of looking at previous assignments for the MiW, I found two that were great! Daniel Greene’s, for example, was extremely in-depth as it revealed a lot about the writer himself – suggesting motivations and reasonings allowing the reader to independently think in a provoking way. I really liked his openness, especially as he felt conflicted about translating his thoughts to his writings. Overall this was a unique approach to the assignment that gave me a lot of ideas on different ways to approach my own. Allison Raeck’s, additionally, was super relatable as I have also been referred to as a “good writer” by my friends (I write that trying to sound as humble as possible). I found it interesting, and similar to me, that writing is just another “talent” – it doesn’t have to be incredibly deep. Overall, the two previous examples were super helpful and guiding in terms of what previous students have done.

The examples I’ve read, though, have showed me a few things. It’s more impactful when you’re humble and not arrogant, it’s important to be brutally honest with the audience, and I think it would be helpful to provoke the reader to think about your writing background (rather than simply laying it all out there).

Max Rysztak: Boilerplate

Given that I was unable to find my application letter to the minor in writing program, I have chosen to use my go-to cover letter for job applications. While I could pretty much copy/paste the entire letter and use it as a boilerplate sample, these are some of the quotes that stood out to me the most:

 

“I apply for this position with great enthusiasm, which is founded by my passion for politics and public policy.”

I look at this quote and realize that it really doesn’t explain why I’m enthusiastic about applying for the position. Even though most of the positions I apply to are political/policy-related in nature, nothing specifically about this phrase explains to the application reader why their specific office/company/etc. excites me. I think I originally chose to include it (in my opening paragraph) simply because it sounds good.

 

“The most important thing this position has taught me, however, is leadership. This position has taught me to be creative in my campus-wide-strategy, but it has also taught me to trust and listen to others’ ideas, which I now believe to be one of the most important leadership qualities.”

I added this quote because I wanted to emphasize my leadership skills. But reading back, I realize that most leaders are creative and good listeners. There’s nothing unique about those qualities and they, in all honesty, don’t relate to my experiences in the position I’m referring to.

 

“I think I am a candidate with great communication skills, political experience, and strong motivation, which will bring unique experiences to the Congressman’s Office. I am truly thrilled about the prospect of joining your team.”

This quote, last but not least, is the epitome of boilerplate. Communication skills, experience, and motivation – what else am I supposed to mention in a cover letter? I included this because I felt it was the only acceptable way to conclude my letter. While that may be true, I certainly could update this phrase to make it less generic than it already is.

 

Writing 220: Remediation Ideas – Max Rysztak

In thinking about my remediation for my essay on IDF militaristic development and potential US similarities, a couple of options stand out.

Firstly, I am most excited by translating my essay into a speech. I’ve always wanted to be a political/policy speechwriter and I think a translation would be a great use of this essay. There is a lot of potential for this to be a speech as it is already academic, well supported, and relevant. The biggest challenge in this idea, however, is getting the right tone as the setting for the speech would be undefined.

For the complement section, I think it would be interesting to dive deeper into one of the policial actors I analyze in my original piece. Since I look at 4 Haganah (and future IDF) leaders, I could create a complement piece in hopes of diving deeper into one of the leaders – providing a more immersive reading background.

I am less excited about the adaptation/inspiration areas of a potential remediation simply due to the topic of my original essay. A potential adaptation piece could be one of adapting an original essay into an informational video (widely available and easy to understand). This could serve as educating the masses by using visuals to help explain the complex geographic conflict. In terms of inspiration, I think that a potential fiction piece, maybe on an IDF soldier being inspired by the leadership of one of the military leaders has potential – in that the point of view of the soldier could be more deeply understood.

Writing 220: Repurposing Idea, Max Rysztak

One of my favorite papers I have written thus far in my college career was a research paper for my history class on the Arab-Israeli conflict. In that paper, I analyzed how The Haganah – Israel’s early militia force – was a key factor in leading to a structured IDF, in that it produced many of the organization’s figureheads. I looked at four members of The Haganah, their military development, and how their long-term careers were influenced by their shared development in the militia. It was a very interesting paper, but it was made bland by the high page number and a confusing structure.

 

In repurposing this paper I hope to achieve a few things. Firstly, I hope to broaden my audience beyond academia. While research in original nature, this paper could prove interesting to understanding Israeli-Palestinian relations. But who wants to read an almost 15-page paper on IDF history? I think by changing the tone of the paper, in hopes of making it more approachable and readable, could make it interesting/useful to a wider audience of people. I also hope to achieve a new tone. I think this paper translates well to what is happening today in the region. It shows a lot of militaristic mentalities, which can highlight tensions in the conflict. I think by focusing more on how it has modern impacts also makes it more appealing to the average reader.

 

I think these two goals can be achieved in two ways. Beyond by just shortening the paper, I should definitely change the style in which the paper is written. Even in just skimming it to remind myself of what I wrote, I’ve become a better, more concise and clear, writer, in my time since writing this essay. By removing the fluff, and making it more readable would go a long way. I also want to stay away from lofty diction and complex sentences, which in my mind seem to complicate my argument.

 

Overall, I’m really excited about working with this paper because I’m hopeful that I can take an already interesting topic and expand it to a wider audience and make it more readable.