Permalink for this paragraph 0 One of the enlightening concepts Literary Theory and college courses in general have taught me about my writing, is that there are so many different modes of writing and to be an efficient communicator, you have to dabble in each one; you have to learn the rules of each game.
Permalink for this paragraph 0 Poetry and creative writing, close readings, literary criticisms, newspaper articles, the list goes on off all the different mediums I’ve covered this year. However, the jump from creative writing and close readings to the criticisms and articles was not an easy one. Granted, part of this is becoming acquainted with style. Yet I would argue that in each of these cases the difficult objective is to make a good case, a good argument, which is something Literary Theory and my other classes have drilled into me.
Permalink for this paragraph 0 For example, in my poetry course we talk about “uncovering the dragon” and discovering what the poem is revealing about life. In other words, we discuss the argument of the poem and whether or not it conveyed some sort of message. I learned from the course that the best creative writing lets you melt into another world and uncover some truth about life, and without this “truth” or argument the poem is just pretty language. The reasons of the poem are more subtle and emotional than the explicit approach of analytical essays (such as through topic sentences), but they’re there.
Permalink for this paragraph 0 Similarly, with writing for the SNC Times I had to cover certain facts but without including the narrative, without the take-away point, the articles would have fallen flat. Instead of solving “practical problems” I addressed the theoretical problems we talk about all the time in class: problems about perspective and access to certain knowledge.
Permalink for this paragraph 0 Moreover, no matter what medium of writing you encounter, in each one, whether a poem, song, book, or literary essay, the important aspect is your argument. Sure, with each medium you have different stylistic approaches and those can be at first troubling to master, but the heart of the matter is the argument. Now that I have realized the importance of having an argument with supporting reasons and costs/benefits, I look back at some of my early essays and cringe a little. But as I see the trend of “argument-building” in all of these mediums, it is no longer as daunting as it is necessary to be an effective communicator and writer.