There is no such thing as writing in general. Do you doubt this claim? Test it out. Go to your desk right now and attempt to write something in general. Do not write for any specific audience, purpose, or context. Do not use any conventions that you’ve learned for school, work, creative writing, and so on. Just write in general.
You can’t do it, because it can’t be done. There is no such thing as writing in general. Writing is always in particular.
It’s not just common sense that tells us that learning to write in general is not possible. Many studies of writing have been done— in workplaces, in classes across the college landscape, and in social and civic settings. They tell us that every new situation, audience, and purpose requires writers to learn to do and understand new possibilities and constraints for their writing. Writing fan fiction in Wattpad requires understanding what other fans expect, what fan fiction writers and readers think good fan fiction is, and what the technological medium supports and allows. The same is true for any other kind of writing—we write in our journals and think of our future selves or anyone who might find the journal. We write as biologists for other specialists who understand previous findings and value the ideas of some biologists more than others. As students write across their general education courses, they find themselves repeatedly asked to write essays or research papers, but often learn the hard way that their history teacher, poetry teacher, and philosophy teacher all mean and expect very different things by “essay” or “research paper.” This is because context, audience, purpose, medium, history, and values of the community all impact what writing is and needs to be in each situation.
There is no writing in general, and thus no single class or workshop or experience can teach people to write. once and for all. But people want to believe that it’s possible to write in general because this belief makes writing seem less difficult and allows them to believe that writers can get a one-time writing inoculation that will extend across all settings. If this is the case, then non-English teachers and employers are off the hook; they don’t have to help students learn to write in their classrooms or workplaces, they can just criticize writers for not being able to meet their expectations— and criticize English teachers for not doing their jobs.
The idea that we can all learn to “write in general” is not just a harmless myth. It’s a dangerous idea that needs to die because it hurts students and frustrates teachers and employers. And writers who believe it are easily discouraged because they don’t know how to learn what they need to learn in new writing situations.
A better conception of writing is one in which we all remember (realistically) our own experiences learning to write in different situations, and then apply that memory to our expectations of what we and others are capable of achieving. A better notion of how writing works is one that recognizes that after learning scribal skills (letters, basic grammatical constructions), everything a writer does is impacted by the situation in which she is writing. And thus she is going to have to learn again in each new situation. Yes, she can apply and repurpose some of what she already knows how to do, but she will have to learn new things and not expect that what she already knows about writing is easily applicable in new situations. This means that when an employer hires a student fresh out of college and asks her to write a report for the CEO, he might expect that she knows what a report is in general, but he needs to remember that she’s never seen a report at this company (she needs some examples), does not know the CEO and his idiosyncrasies (she needs some insider info), and does not yet understand what people in this setting consider important (she needs a heads-up on that). Similarly, parents should expect that their child might struggle when writing in a new class, or when moving from high school to college because learning takes time and requires being immersed in the context. Journalists and critics need to remember that texting employs certain conventions that are appropriate for their medium and purpose—and those are not destroying writing in general, because there is no writing in general. All of us, then, should give ourselves time to anticipate new writing situations, look at examples, find out what people’s. If we can remember that there is no writing in general and no magic formula that will help us write well in all situations, we are more likely to be able to use (or transfer or repurpose) what we know effectively from prior writing situations. This is because we will be aware of the new context, on the lookout for examples, and willing to accept that struggle and practice are simply a part of learning to write in a new situation. Too frequently, writers attempt to rigidly use what has worked for them in other situations, only to find out the hard way that such rigid re-use is not appropriate in the new setting. These ideas—that there is no writing in general, that writers always have more to learn, that failing or struggling are a normal part of writing—are some of the many threshold concepts of the discipline of writing studies. In other words, they are things researchers have learned, and things that will help writers be more effective, if only they can accept them in place of the common cultural assumptions about writing that are not always accurate.
There is no writing inoculation, because there is no such thing as writing in general. But this isn’t bad news. Rather, it gives all writers permission to keep learning, to fail, and to engage in new kinds of writing in new situations.
Questions (Apply to you):
What is one way I will alter my current thinking/behavior based on what I have read?
How did this reading help me to build my professional or personal knowledge (or skill)?
In what ways did this reading selection prompt me to pay attention to something different than what I have noticed before?
In what ways has this reading selection helped me to understand myself better as a developing writer?
Looking towards the future, what suggestions from the reading make the most sense to me?
Reading: There is no such thing as writing in general.
Every Student Buys Essays from us, here is why!
Pressed for time to complete assignments or when you feel like you cannot write, you can purchase an essay on our website. Some students also want model papers to use as samples when revising or writing. There are also students who approach our essay writing service to beat deadlines. We handle every type of homework, assignment, and academic writing tasks. You can buy college essays and other assignments here. At a glance, here are some reasons students prefer our website.
100% Original Essays and Papers
You can be sure that you are getting a paper that is custom written based on your instructions. We do not sell papers that are pre-written. Instead, we write every essay from scratch. When you say “write my essay,” we respond by giving you a paper that is 100% original and free of any plagiarism. The essays you purchase from us have never been sold anywhere.
Flexible & Affordable Prices
It does not cost a fortune to get academic writing help on our website. If you have a question from class, place an order, get a discount, and get cheap essay writing services. What you see as the price is what you pay for. There are no any hidden charges. If you need urgent papers, they might cost a little more, but the price is worth the quality you get in the end. Hire a professional academic writer beginning from $13 a page.
Anonymity, Privacy, and Confidentiality
No one will ever know that you purchased an essay or assignment from our website. The essays you buy from us are written by experts. Your data is only used to coordinate the essay writing services you get. No one can access your personal information and data. Go ahead and order an essay from our website. It is safe, secure, and convenient.
Services we offer
- » Custom paper writing
- » Question and answers
- » Essay paper writing
- » Editing and proofreading
- » Plagiarism removal services
- » Multiple answer questions
- » Zero Plagiarism
- » On-time delivery
- » A-Grade Papers
- » Free Revision
- » 24/7 Support
- » 100% Confidentiality
- » Professional Writers