Inquiry 4 has asked me to reflect upon my own writing, and so I have taken a look at the work I did for this class, as well as reflected upon the history of my work.
what I have decided is that I have a very weak style. Unlike many people, or at least how I perceive their writing is that it has some kind of principle characteristic. Perhaps they have a large vocabulary that they use extensively, or perhaps they plan out their essay to such a length that their ideas flow from one to the other seamlessly, with strong paragraphs and uncanny seguis. As I write more comfortably in a stream of consciousness, I don’t spend as much time as others on the preplanning period.
On an average piece of writing, I will, before crafting it, consider the topics and themes I could include. Once I have what I want to write about, I’m ready to begin. My mind works best in the moment, so by starting to write I will open my mind to the next topic, and from there on I can work. I’m not saying I will plan too far in the future, I have no idea how this essay is going to end. However, this far into a paragraph it has served its purpose, and now I am concentrating less on this one, simply wrapping it up, but my mind is already ahead on the next one.
I mentioned above that some people write well due just to their superior vocabulary. whilst this is not to be scoffed at, indeed it is a useful talent in this trade
of essay making, I implore that my skill with wordcraft has not matured to the level necessary to use it as a focus for my work. In precisely placed locations, basic language can serve as well as the fluff others use, and it is that style that suits me. While a majority of my writing will be vocabulary I use on a daily basis, I find I will have a few specific instances where i is a word that just seems to work. I have no explanation, but it will occur to me mid sentence what a fantastic place it would be for a larger word. I do this at risk of sounding forced. Rather than sounding like I forcibly shoved a buzz word into my work, I perceive it as a particularly well-made sentance.
Over the years, particularly Senior Year when I had the pleasure of taking AP Language with a very good teacher, my writing has become more definitive and my sentences more complex. I’m afraid much of what she taught me has diminished, but the basic ideas are still there. She also taught me how to properly integrate sources and facts into my writing. Before the class, my inclusion of outside information, in the case, for example, of a synthesis essay, was choppy and forced. Now I can easily put the information in. The one thing my teacher always harped on but I found hard to appreciate was she never wanted a “why?” left open. Endlessly, there would be questions of “why?” written in the margins of my essays. This happened most frequently when explaining something. Take, for example, the prompt asked about American actions following WWII. I might describe the Marshall Plan and in that description I would of course mention that it was beneficial. That is an obvious need for an explanation, so might describe the economic benefits gained, as well as the industrial benefits the European countries enjoyed. Here, my teacher would implore me to further explain why. Why what?
By the end of writing her ideal essay, I would likely have explained both the complete socio-economic system, what a dollar represents, as well as an unabridged history of U.S. – European relationships. While humorous, I understand what she was doing and appreciate it. It was her job to ensure that her students had the capabilities to write strong, defendable essays, devoid of logics flaws and general inconsistencies. I also appreciate her teaching her students the precious art of endlessly extending ones easy without getting off topic. If given the backstory of the socio-economic system first, one could make a short sentence about the Marshall plan evolve into a lesson of history and how it applies to one specific incident. That is a valuable tool in school when given, for example, a 1000 word essay.
I am comfortable with my writing style. On completion of an essay, unless it is an exception (as there always are), I am not ashamed of and and feel as tho I got my point or argument across. Most essays have an argument now that I mention that, I’m having a hard time identifying the argument in the essay. I have argued several different points, from frivolous vocabulary being frivolous to my teacher being helpful despite her nagging. Overall, I think this essay has been an argument for myself. I defend my writing style, using it’s quirks and flaws to prove itself worthy. Thank God for spell check, or this defense would be severely less legible. But I digress. I do defend my writing style, because while I may not be as clever as Tolstoy or Faulkner, nor as progressive as Steinbeck, what I have is a way to express myself. My style is unique and always I am armed with it. This is my style. There are many like it, but this one is mine. That is what matters, and beyond that is of little consequence to me.