Theory of Writing

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Writing varies from a text message to a novel. Writers often have a difficult task in creating a piece of work that truly identifies the meaning of good writing. Every good writer usually starts with the basics such as genre, audience, rhetorical situation, and reflection of the piece. Throughout this semester, we have gone through all of these key terms in great detail with each new assignment that has come our way. In doing this, not only as students but also as writers, we have come to create our own theory of writing. Every writer has a different theory of writing though most are very similar. Now, at this point in the semester after doing countless journals, in-class exercises, and final assignments, I think I have figured out my own theory of writing.

Theory of writing to me after all of these assignments is still a grey area but I can pick out main points of it. Theory of writing defined by me involves three main points. The first thing is how a writer does his or her best work. For instance, I like to do my writing at night when there is peace and quiet, almost to where I can hear aloud my own thoughts. Secondly, the theory includes what the writer does in planning. My planning includes no planning. I sit at my computer and just start typing all my thoughts on the screen until I do not feel like typing anymore. After that is done I usually cut the fat and revise all of my work. Lastly, I believe that the theory of writing process involves having one main goal in mind supported by smaller “sub-goals.” Like for example when doing my research essay on concussions in the NFL. I had the main topic of explaining concussions in the NFL with smaller “ingredients” helping me explain like the hits on a defenseless player rule and countless other ingredients to help me create my ultimate “burrito.”

Also in my theory of writing, I have learned to accept the four key terms (audience, genre, rhetorical situation, and reflection) as important concepts to keep in mind while writing all of the major assignments. Each term has a different meaning to me and I have learned more and more throughout this semester after each assignment. The very first assignment introduced me to these terms, where I still did not know exactly what they meant but I had a general idea. I learned that genre affects what is being written because it sets the stage for what should be done and what readers expect by picking up the writing. Writers may go into writing a piece of art by combining a few genres but always have one genre that will shadow over the others. For example Martin Luther King Jr.’s piece, “A Letter from Birmingham Jail,” has a specific genre, which is even stated in the title as a letter. King Jr.’s piece can also be looked at as a persuasive essay because he is trying to convince his point of equality to the clergymen of Birmingham. When speaking of genre, I also have to incorporate audience because these two terms come hand in hand. A writer’s audience is the readers expectations of what they are going to be reading. Each genre usually has a specific audience. In the King Jr. speech, his initial audience was for the clergymen of Birmingham. Just like genre, there can be multiple audiences for one piece. King Jr. was also talking to the people who supported his equality point by saying we have waited too long for a change and need to act now. Rhetorical situation on the other hand was probably and still is the hardest key term for me to understand. I learned that Rhetorical situation is the circumstance in which you communicate. This involves the writer’s personal factors, the purpose of the writing, the genre, the audience, the topic, and the context for which you are writing. A writer’s personal factors include his or her background such as beliefs (religious or political), where they were raised, how they were raised, life experiences, etc. The purpose of writing is why as a writer you even started to write a certain piece. For...
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