Writing II: Rhetorical Composing {Coursera / Ohio State University}


Assignment 1: Getting to Know You

How writing two hours prior to deadline looks like


Dear reader,

Language acquisition skills are divided between productive and receptive. Writing and speaking are productive ones; reading and listening fall into the second category.

{Ok, strike out that first sentence; that’s me being a language teacher. Plus I already sound boring. Let’s just take that from the start.}

Writing is virtually everywhere! We write notes when we study; we make lists and jot down groceries or stuff to do; we write our status or clever quotes on social media platforms.

{Wait…what? Noooooo, I am supposed to write an essay on me as a writer – not what we write, what I write is the point.}

Ok, this is hard. I write. I just do. I mean I like it. I can express myself in writing. I am not a native speaker, so I write primarily in another language. When I do write in English, I sound a bit pompous; I look up definitions, I come up with pleasurable {ha! nice one} vocabulary, I make notes of catchy phrases, I overdo it sometimes. Words are like adding salt to your cooking; too much will make it inedible, not enough and it tastes blunt, unimpressive.

Written speech is powerful. Look at the Bible. Or the Quran.  Or Perez Hilton’s blog. Anyway the point is if you can write effectively, you will have an audience to follow you. Readers are a faithful crowd, dear. You are loved and hated at the same time. And the advice, oh, that wonderful word: “feedback”. Who invented editing anyway? I bet ya, the first editor was a man who hated writers. Virginia Wolf’s “stream of consciousness” would be edited. Blasphemous? Perhaps. True, nonetheless.

{Again I digress. Back to writing.}

So, I like writing and I want to have readers giving me their thoughtful advice.  I want to write about fairytales, myths and legends.

{Great now I sound like the narrator from Xena, the warrior princess. Hmm, that’s not so bad, come to think of it.}

I like writing fiction. I want to immerse my readers in magical worlds and mysterious heroes. I want to figure out plots that are more complicated than George R. Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire”.  I want to sound educated and polyglot like Umberto Eco. I want to invent a whole other language like Tolkien did.

{k pull yourself together, girl. And ease up a little bit on coffee.}

I never wrote poems as a kid. Every time I tried keeping a diary – so hype back in those days – I gave up after a couple of entries. I did write a small article for my school newspaper. I can’t remember much though. During senior high school I recall writing numerous pages on essay topics like “the importance of historical context” and “cultural aspects” of  blah blah. I didn’ t like that kind of writing.

I like writing for unknown stuff. I like writing about what’s going to happen, I like writing about novelties or premonitions. In 11th grade, I took part in a writing competition. Two students from the school would get to go to the Parliament and talk about their topic of choice in front of politicians and a youth council comprised of students from all over the country. I wrote an essay on Dolly the sheep (google it) and bioethics. My teacher told me I was too preoccupied with something that was completely unknown to – and utterly insignificant for – the general public. The year was 1996.

I like writing on Facebook. I also tweet. Oh, and I blog. Hey, I like writing on the Web, it’s fun, it’s quick, you got followers (aka readers), cool. People say it lacks syntax or grammar; it’s not academia but it’s explicit and conveys information, whether personal or not, almost instantly.

{That’s 630 words by now. I am out of ideas, anyone?}

I consider writers to be vulnerable. They expose themselves to you, dear reader. They write about their character’s thoughts but in effect they are expressing their own. They inform you of something happening in a newspaper; they are trying to exercise caution and protect you. They write scientific articles about the Higgs boson / particle (again google it); they are making a breakthrough. They are translating the works of others for you; they are preserving literature, memory and culture. They are scribbling short stories or poems; they make you laugh or bring about tearful moments.

I beg of you, do not ask yourself what kind of writer I am. In all honesty, I simply feel like one. You yourself are a writer. They out there are all writers. Whether these people are any good or not, it’s for their readers to decide. So ponder on this, dearest friend: What kind of reader are you?


{and that’s 817 words *cheers*}


3 comments on “Writing II: Rhetorical Composing {Coursera / Ohio State University}

  1. Thank you. I will check out your other entries on MOOCs. This is all new to me, my first MOOC course. Reading about other learners experiences is helpful.

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