How to Read like a writer Notes

Main idea: Skills involving good writing can start with good reading skills. This includes reading more about how a piece is put together and less about just gathering information.

Key Terms:

Divisive: tending to cause disagreement or hostility between people.

Irony: the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.

RLW: Abbreviation for Read Like a Writer

Writerly Techniques: can include, but are not limited to the following: narrative structure, pattern, diction, irony, allusion, tone, setting.

Writerly Choices: The choices a writer makes about writing a text

Corinthian Style: The way the Corinthians built their buildings.

Corinthian Columns: The Corinthian order is the last developed of the three principal classical orders of ancient Greek and Roman architecture. The other two are the Doric order which was the earliest, followed by the Ionic order

Genre: a category of artistic composition, as in music or literature, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.

Summary: According to Mike Bunn, author of “How to Read Like a Writer”, you can acquire adequate writing skills by learning how to read like a writer. Reading like a writer is to carefully examine the text and decide if you want to adopt techniques. It also involves figuring out how the text was constructed, This includes looking at the techniques, the writerly choices, the influences the writer might have had. The authro quotes Allan Tate, who says about writing that it is like learning about how to build a house. We must learn about the whole structure of the house. Your reading is to see how something was constructed so that you can construct something similar yourself. Reading like a writer can be difficult at first as it is not taught very often in our courses, but it is effective in our writing. The first step in this process is to first understand the context of the text. It’s also important to understand the genre of the text. Another way to help you read like a writer is to know if the style of writing may be assigned to you. The next step is to ask important questions regarding the text. Mainly the “why” and the “who”. Another step is to take notes on the text, such as writing in the margins and highlighting. RLW involves asking questions, note taking and analyzing. Questioning, considering techniques, deciding how to include it in your text, all are what reading like a writer is about.

Commentary: If i remember correctly, this is the same author that wrote the article that pretty much said “the only way you can be a good writer is to create a blog” which is HIGHLY false. That being said, I am impressed with how he presented this article. He does mention very good points on how to deconstruct text in order to become a skilled writer. There are many ways that one can be skilled at writing, one of them is simply just practice, but this article goes even deeper into how one can best understand the text being read and how to write accordingly.


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