creative writing as academic writing
Presentation on theme: “creative writing as academic writing”— Presentation transcript:
1 creative writing as academic writing
Joe Lennon, PhD, MFA
2 Which genres are academic writing genres?
How do we determine whether a kind of writing is academic or not?
3 Premise #1 Let’s teach (and evaluate) writing so that students come to perceive it as a continual PROCESS (of trial, failure, dialogue, experimentation), and so that they view any one “finished” piece of writing as only a byproduct of this process (though of course, a useful one).
4 Premise #2 Let’s show students that a good writer CREATES a unique form every time she writes, to suit the unique rhetorical needs of her audience. Presenting a genre as an already set form with “rules” and teaching students to follow it is a backward and dead-end strategy (and an easy way to produce boring nonsense). (see Lloyd Bitzer, “The Rhetorical Situation,” 1968)
5 Premise #3 The most essential values of good writing in genres traditionally called “creative” apply to academic genres as well. If practice with “creative” techniques and forms helps students internalize these values, then these techniques and forms have an important place in an academic writing classroom.
6 3 style Values in English writing
ACTION (evoked by strong verbs, as opposed to the STASIS of nouns) IMAGE (direct appeal to the senses) ECONOMY (if you can do the same work in fewer words, that’s better) see Lanham, “Revising Prose,” and the Plain English Campaign:
7 Some ways to make bring creative writing into the Academic Writing classroom:
Applying overall principles Adapting structures from creative genres Experimenting with creative forms
8 Applying overall principles (or, “Things My Creative Writing Teacher Taught Me”)
“Show, don’t tell.”
9 Three steps on the way from telling to showing:
1. Stating a concept 2. Turning the concept into an image (a concrete example) 3. Putting the image into direct relation with the reader’s body/senses (putting it into ACTION with a verb) “Think of 50 pounds. Think of a 50 pound dog. Think of that 50 pound dog sitting on your head.” Rhett Allain, Wired
10 Activity: Get students to identify an abstract “telling” sentence in their paper (or their classmate’s paper), and take it through 2 more stages on the way to “showing.” “We are going to make America great again!” 2. We are going to build a wall made of concrete and razor wire. 3. We are going to build a wall made of razor wire that will slice open the legs and arms of desperate women and children who try to get across.
11 Adapting structural tricks from creative genres
royale.co.uk/articles/techniques- creative-writing-improve- essays.html
12 Experimenting with creative forms
Modernist Poetry Cento Erasure
13 the importance of image, directness, rhythm, tone
This Is Just To Say William Carlos Williams I have eaten the plums that were in the icebox and which you were probably saving for breakfast Forgive me they were delicious so sweet and so cold I use this poem to show: the importance of image, directness, rhythm, tone that there can be (and almost always are) multiple audiences and purposes. (Here, who is the audience and what is the purpose? What is the genre?)
14 Activity: Students take one of their paragraphs and turn it into a poem by giving it line breaks (This brings out rhythm (or lack of it); tends to emphasize key ideas, makes repetition more obvious)
15 Ancient Roman poetry form made from lines taken from other sources
Cento: Ancient Roman poetry form made from lines taken from other sources Here’s a cento I made from the sources I read for this presentation: In order to clarify the next lips beside the white poets often bring spaces into places a communication so peculiar The dictionary a 50 pound dog defines erase (without words, please) for the sake of something a form of flesh and blood rope-dancing beyond itself Activity: – Ask students to keep a research notebook of interesting/useful quotations (a good idea anyway). – Ask them to make a cento poem from the quotes. – Share with another student who then rearranges the lines (Students talk about how the meaning changes; why they chose these lines in particular)
16 Erasure A literary form in which words (or parts of words) are erased from an existing text. The results can be funny, surprising, satirical, subversive, and profound.
17 Erasure A literary form in which words (or parts of words) are erased from an existing text. The results can be funny, surprising, satirical, subversive, and profound.
18 A Humument Tom Phillips, 1970
20 Nets Jen Bervin, 2003
22 Joe Lennon, 2016
23 Activities: Students can do erasures on a reading text, on their own writings, on classmates’ writings… Have them discuss: How has the meaning changed? The genre? The purpose? The audience? You could ask them do an erasure with a specific goal (change the text from one genre into another, make the text appeal to a specific audience, erase everything but the verbs…) Get them to articulate WHY they did what they did!
Differences Between Academic Writing and Technical Writing
Presentation on theme: “Differences Between Academic Writing and Technical Writing”— Presentation transcript:
1 Differences Between Academic Writing and Technical Writing
In this section we will discuss the three major components of written communication: Purpose, Format, Language. Written Script: Differences Between Technical Writing and Academic Writing In this section we will discuss the major components of written communication: Purpose, Format, Language
2 Communication Structure: Shape of Composition
Academic Writing Communication Triangle Topic Text Sender Receiver Technical Writing Communication Rectangle Topic Reader Sender Receiver Written Script: Before we discuss the components of written communication: purpose, format and language, we need to be aware of Communication Structure: The Shape of Composition. Academic Writing is a Communication Triangle, with a Topic, a Sender, and a Receiver, and of course the Text. Technical Writing is a Communication Rectangle with a Topic, a Sender, a Receiver, a Reader, and the Text.
3 Academic Writing has a receiver, but may have a reader or
Communication Triangle Topic Text Sender Receiver Academic Writing has a receiver, but may have a reader or may not have a reader. Technical Writing Communication Rectangle Topic Reader Sender Receiver Technical Writing will always have a reader. the primary reader the person who ordered the report Written Script: The difference is that in addition to a receiver Technical Writing has a reader. What is the difference between a receiver and a reader? Although Academic Writing has have a receiver, the receiver may or may not be the reader. An academic document may be read or may not be read by anyone. However, Technical Writing will always have a reader. While all of the intended receivers of a technical report may not read the report, the report will be read by its primary reader, the person who ordered the report.
4 Purpose Academic Writing Technical Writing Entertain Inform Persuade
No Definite purpose Poem Story Definite purpose Article Book Assignment Technical Writing Inform Research Definite Purpose Supervisor: Order a report Employee: Write a report Needed Read for Information Written Script: While Academic Writing entertains, persuades, or informs, the academic writer may not have a definite purpose to write. A person may decide to write a poem or story, but he or she may have no other intentions than just writing. On the other hand, a person may have a definite purpose for writing. He or she may write a poem or story, article or book for publication. Or maybe complete a written assignment for an instructor. In contrast, a Technical Writer will have a definite purpose for writing, he or she may write to inform or to persuade, using some type of research. It may or may not be complex research, but the information will be based on some type of expert knowledge. Perhaps a supervisor will order a report or an employee may see a reason to inform others of a specific situation. Regardless, there will be a specific need for the report and the report will be read for its content, information.
5 Format Academic Writing Paragraphs Topic Sentences Pictures
Technical Writing Major Headings Sub Headers Markers Bullets Underlings Bold type White Space. Illustrations Graphs Tables Drawings Written Script: Format. Format is probably the most significant difference between Academic Writing and Technical Writing. While Academic Writing is written in paragraphs of plain text, Technical Writing is written in clearly defined major headings, sub heading, and markers. Markers can include bullets, underlining, bold type. Also, technical writing uses plenty of white space. These features provide the easy access to information that many workers need. As we said in the first part of this presentation, a reader of a technical document does not have time to sift through paragraphs of solid text. He/she needs to immediately locate information, and if needed, be able to repeatedly find that same information. Have you ever, after reading an article, tried go back over the article to one particular statement, maybe a fact that you would like to use, and had to scan and reread sections over and over until you found the statement that you just minutes before read. This having to continuously scan and deliberately read is exactly the waste of time that a person who purposefully looking for information needs to avoid, and headings, sub headings, white space and markers let him/her find statements, costs, measurements, immediately. At times Academic Writing may have pictures. However, usually the pictures are used for emphasis, perhaps a picture will wrapped in text to emphasize the text. However, Technical Writing’s illustrations are used to complement text. A chart, table, drawing is put either above or below the text and separated from the text with white space, so it can be easily seen and interpreted.
6 Language Academic Writing Words Elaborate Transitions Subjective
Cogitative Multiple meaning Sentence Structure Complex Embellishment Excessive words Synonyms Passive voice Technical Writing Active vocabulary Plain Easily understood Objective Non-sexist Avoid pronouns Uncomplicated Repetition Active voice Written Script: Language: Words and sentence structure are noticeably different between Academic Writing and Technical Writing. While words and sentence structure used in Technical Writing: plain, easily understood vocabulary; straight forward sentence structure, without transition or excessive words, would not express the meaning that the academic writer intends to convey to his reader, neither would words and sentence structure used in Academic Writing be used in Technical Writing. A technical writer would not use the elaborate vocabulary or the complex sentence structure, with excessive words and transitions, of Academic Writing. In a technical document, the use of transitions, multiple meaning words and complex sentence structure, with transitions and embellishment, would not send the straightforward message a technical reader needs in order to quickly understand what he/she needs to do. The language used in Technical Writing must be direct and to the point, intentionally conveying to the reader the information he/she needs to clearly understand what needs to be done. Therefore a technical writer uses active vocabulary, which are plan, easily understood words; uses objective words, words that do not need to be interpreted; and avoids using pronouns. To many times, pronouns do not correctly identify their intended reference. For example, in the sentence: “The staff worked hard all year with the administrators, give them a bonus,” who is them? In this sentence, them refers to the administrators. Therefore, the administrators will get the bonus. The sentence should have been written, “The staff worked hard all year with the administrators, give the staff a bonus.” Is this redundancy? No this is repetition, and in Technical Writing, repetition is necessary for clear understanding.
7 Conclusion This presentation included an extended definition of Technical Writing, expressing the need for easy access to information, and briefly defined the differences between Academic Writing and Technical Writing, according to purpose, format and language. Think about the significance of a technical writer communicating in clear straightforward vocabulary and sentence structure to convey information. Remember; if the intended reader is not able to quickly understand the message or misinterprets the information, the writer failed; the purpose of the message was lost. Click on screen to end the presentation. Written Script: This presentation included an extended definition of Technical Writing, expressing the need for easy access to information, and briefly defined the differences between Academic Writing and Technical Writing, according to purpose, format and language. Think about the significance of a technical writer communicating in clear straightforward vocabulary and sentence structure to convey information. Remember; if the intended reader is not able to quickly understand the message or misinterprets the information, the writer failed; the purpose of the message was lost. Click on screen to end the presentation.
9 References The references for the “The Definition of Technical Writing and the Differences Between Academic Writing and Technical Writing,” PowerPoint Presentation came from sources used over the last 14 years of my studying and teaching Technical Writing. “The Definition of Technical Writing and the Differences Between Academic Writing and Technical Writing,” PowerPoint Presentation is the sole property of Dr. Elizabeth Lohman. This PowerPoint presentation cannot be copied or duplicated in any way or presented in any way without the written consent of Dr. Elizabeth Lohman. Contact Dr. Elizabeth Lohman at Tidewater Community College ( ).
Creative writing vs academic writing ppt
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