23 March 2012

Writing assingments

Oh, shit...I'm still here.  Anyway since it's Friday I thought I'd update my blog, well not entirely an update per se more of a I'm gonna copy pasta some bullshit I've already written.  Since the Web has never lied to me before (at least not that I can recall)

Allow me to put the following prose into context, it was the start of a new semester at my University.  I am enrolled in technical writing, which is the preferred writing intensive course for my major, and there are always people looking for technical writers.  Moving on, our first assignment was to write a one page diagnostic on how we feel about writing...

Writing, one of the most important methods of communication, has been integral in all aspects of my professional life.  Unfortunately, I abhor English writing assignments; however, writing in code (e.g. Java, Basic, C++, HTML, and PHP) has always been easy.  The logical order of these languages makes the creation of programs much easier than writing prose.  Many of my previous English writings were strictly creative (e.g. songs or blog posts.)

The main reason I detest English writing assignments is the lack of clear direction and purpose.  In my military career one principle was driven home with every briefing.  Give the bottom line up front as time should not be wasted with verbosity and superfluous language.  Writing for school goes against that principle as teachers/professors expect a certain number of pages to be written for any assignment.  This causes me great frustration, as I could simply explain in five pages, what the professor would like written in twelve.  I understand the need for today’s college students to be able to write and communicate effectively; however, by imposing mandatory limits the papers lose their meaning, resulting in creative steps to pad papers in order to meet the required page limit.

The second, albeit more legitimate reason for disliking writing assignments is my failure to absolutely comprehend English grammar and its use in sentence construction (as is evident by this run-on sentence).  When I studied a foreign language, many years ago, I was forced to ingest the rules of sentence structure and grammar.  I began to understand how grammar and sentence structure can completely change the meaning of a sentence.  Since this “sink or swim” learning of grammar, I strive to write well.

When it comes to writing whether creative or professional, I prefer to write in quiet areas to allow my thoughts to process completely before writing them down.  My preferred method of writing is pencil and paper, saving the computer for the final copy to allow for various re-writes.  The simple act of physically writing allows me to feel more connected to the piece I am discussing, whether it be database design or chord progressions in a song, the simple act of writing helps enormously.

Some of my worst writing, in my humble opinion, has come from computer only written assignments or assignments where time was limited.  As the years have passed my thoughts are more jumbled and often require considerable time to organize into a coherent message and write.  The actual act of typing is actually very simple and requires little to no thought on my part.  Usually, when I type my thoughts go immediately from my head to the computer screen without hesitation.  When faced with a deadline, I tend to procrastinate.  Like many of my college peers, this results in sub-par papers as well as writing without revision.

One of my strengths in regards to writing is my ability to see errors in my writing.  The ability to understand what message I want the reader to take away and ensure that is the bulk of the paper.  Unfortunately, I often do not allow myself adequate time to thoroughly review my writing, which leads to poor papers.

In summation, I detest writing only for the sake of writing.  I lack an advanced grasp of English grammar I write well, in my biased opinion, when I allow myself adequate time.  I write best when the subject matter is personally relevant or interesting.  

In case you're wondering, yes I did get an "A".


1 comment:

  1. You still use pencil and paper? I'm impressed, these days everybody does everything on computers.

    Having written loads of assignments during the past years, I totally agree with your conclusion.

    And also, in your case: "A" is for Awesome. As Always.