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posting online

spleenfiend's picture

I definitely prefer posting essays online to handing them in to only the professor for a number of reasons.  For one, in most classes, I've never been able to see what my classmates are writing - unless the purpose was to "peer edit," which, in my opinion, just turns into students trying to find flaws with papers just so they'll look like they did their homework.  There is more room for finding grammatical errors to look like a know-it-all than there is to discuss new ideas.  That sounds really bitter, but I swear I don't mean it like that.  I don't hate peer review because someone was mean to me about grammar.  I just find it boring to find and discuss the grammatical errors of any paper.  Reading other papers and simply commenting on the ideas they discuss is way more productive.

Also, I personally didn't feel constrained to a boring five-paragraph style with a thesis sentence and the thesis sentences of each paragraph outlined in the opening paragraph...only to go through the trouble of writing a closing paragraph without repeating myself too much.  Maybe I should have written in this format, but I didn't, and I noticed I wasn't the only one who wrote in a less formulaic style.  Like I said, maybe there's something wrong with not writing in the proper style, but I like reading papers that "flow" and discuss a topic and make you think instead of just proving a thesis the writer may not even believe.  Most traditional essays are boring to me.

So, I may just have a short attention spans, but pictures, links, and clearer formatting in general are awesome, in my opinion.


nk0825's picture

A Freeing Experience

 I think posting papers online is a great way to get people to open up. I also found myself writing in a less 'formulaic' style and after I had posted my paper I asked myself why had I done that? Not that I regretted it at all, in fact it felt somewhat freeing to write (I suppose) more conversationally, but I am curious as to why many of us chose to write less formally than we had in the past? I definitely agree with spleenfiend that the ability to add images, links, etc. opened up many possibilities for us as writers (and for those readers out there too). Did anyone else find themselves questioning their reasons for writing this paper the way they did? I'm curious to see if anyone has different thoughts on this!

sgb90's picture

a compromise...

I found when writing my paper that while I was conscious of the changed medium I was writing for, this did not completely change my approach. I wrote in a formal style (though not one that I consider artificial), but I did include an image at the start of my essay in the hope of engaging the reader. I think the possibilities for adding links, images, etc. are great benefits for posting papers online and hopefully making them accessible to a wider audience. That said, I also think it's important not to overemphasize images or have images replace or somehow compensate for the content of one's essay. I hope to become better versed in formatting strategies so as to know how to utilize the possibilities of images and links to make my writing more engaging, but not to detract from the writing itself (which, to me, remains most important).

Shayna S's picture

Reasons to be Informal

 I was actually thinking about what kind of style to write this essay in for awhile. I finally decided on an informal tone with lots of links, pictures, and a reader-friendly format. This was mainly because Anne urged us to think about writing for an invisible audience. I thought, "What kind of essay would be most appealing for me to read if I happened to stumble upon it? One that does not look like I'd be clicking back and forth between, one that references examples with links so I can easily look it up without any googling on my part, and one that had a visual presence to facilitate my comprehension." 

Shayna S's picture


 This reminds me of our discussion on productivity and what we felt about the implications of the word. I believe this article is a good read against the norms of feeling "productive".

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