What Constitutes Good Writing?

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Fallon Perez
October 25, 11

Good Writing
From the beginning of our writing careers, we have been preached to about the dos’s and don’ts’s of writing. In grammar school, we were taught not to use the word ‘I’ and to always write in the third person. Breaking such rules would have been considered taboo. Now as we embark on a new journey in our lives, college, such rules do not always apply as strictly. While the rules reminisce in our minds from grade school, we do not always have to adhere to them. Though I do not believe there is a “correct” way of writing, I do believe there are both good and bad ways to go about it.

There are many essays throughout the text of Writing About Writing, which discuss writing in a particular way. In chapter two, Maria P. Rey writes a letter to her high school criticizing their teaching strategies. The rules her previous professors had restricted her with often times caused writers block. Mike Rose, a student at the University of California, found that “ students who experienced blocking were all operating either with writing rules or… strategies that impeded rather than enhanced the composing process” (272). Rose’s research supports the dilemma of Maria’s writers block. Students do not intentionally produce poor papers. Rather it is the stress they experience along with the strict rules, which determine whether or not the work they have produced is acceptable. Maria’s essay emphasizes my beliefs that there should not be a predetermined way to judge the quality of a paper.

Kelsey Diaz also shares many of the same views about high school as Maria in her essay “Seven Ways High School Prepares You for Failure.” The author outlines the seven ways she believes high school has undermined our writing education – five paragraph essay, writing objectively, cite a resource, turning in rough drafts and final drafts, resources are the truth, and the one book and three internet article rule. While many of these rules are unnecessary,...
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