what does it mean to write
what does it mean to write
The argument can even apply to technical writers themselves. Just because one is a technical writer, it doesn’t mean the ability to write extends beyond help material. We have to remember that writing ability is relative to the task. When you move from a help manual to something else, like an op-ed in a newspaper, or a lengthy critical essay, or a book or novel, at some point the writing ability is strained.
What’s concerning about the belief that “anyone can write” is that it persuades people with deeper writing abilities to look past writing and seek other skillsets. I’ve moved in the direction of screencasts, layout and design, and content strategy. But my greatest strength is not doing any of these. It’s writing. That’s my core talent. And while at the lower level, anyone can write emails and come up with okay interface text; they can write simple help topics and product announcements. If you need something more difficult, like an engaging corporate blog post that attracts new community members, or an in-depth report for senior leaders that keeps their attention, or a how-to course to teach people to use a complicated system, you actually need someone with more advanced writing skills. If these people have moved on to other specializations that are more valued in the long run, they do their company and themselves a disservice.
“To be literate means to be able to interpret the printed word, not merely reading the word, but to understand the author’s intent and to be able to judge the material as to whether or not it is biased information. For example, in reading the newspaper, to be able to discern the difference in factual information and when someone is editorializing or creating sensationalism. To be literate also means being able to write to express your own feelings in such a way that others understand what you are trying to say.” – Grace Zimmerman
Quotes collected from different sources including students, family relatives, and online bloggers
Constructivism is a popular paradigm for explaining reality. Yet, its ontological and epistemological stance is overly relativist, as it conflates different categories of social construction in problematic ways. For example, a constructivist may argue that like tables, chairs and atoms, race, sexuality and gender are social constructions. A chair, and race, are clearly very different kinds of ‘social’ construction. We therefore need a different way of understanding ‘social constructions’ that allows for differences, and takes us beyond getting stuck in a battle between competing views of reality.
The languages that make up horizontal knowledge structures can be transmitted explicitly through pedagogical approaches or processes that focus on making the principles or procedural learning accessible and clear to students, as well as the means by which to acquire it (Bernstein, 1999). This kind of learning is usually typified by the natural and physical sciences. These languages can also be modelled tacitly, as in the social sciences and humanities, where students are immersed in texts, language and learning over a longer period of time (Bernstein, 1999). Horizontal knowledge structures can further be subdivided into strong and weak grammars. In this context, ‘grammar’ refers to “their capacity to generate unambiguous empirical referents” (Maton, 2010:155), and as such may be stronger or weaker relative to one another within horizontal knowledge structures (Bernstein, 1999).
Everyone says that you should stand in your truth and be authentic in your work. I’ve probably said that before.
I think of how many times throughout history that mainstream ideas have been proven wrong, but it’s not like the conspiracy theorists are always right, either. I realize how ridiculously easy it is for literally anyone with a laptop or a camera to make themselves look like an expert, how everyone has some sort of bias no matter how hard they try to be objective, how even I’ve been guilty of using social media to present a facade. And look, I’m aware that I’m not a public figure with some huge platform, but I still get scared that I’ll unintentionally write something that leads people astray.
To write a good essay, you firstly need to have a clear understanding of what the essay question is asking you to do. Looking at the essay question in close detail will help you to identify the topic and ‘directive words’ (Dhann, 2001), which instruct you how to answer the question. Understanding the meaning of these directive words is a vital first step in producing your essay.
This glossary provides definitions of some of the more typical words that you may come across in an essay question. Please note that these definitions are meant to provide general, rather than exact guidance, and are not a substitute for reading the question carefully. Get this wrong, and you risk the chance of writing an essay that lacks focus, or is irrelevant.