Before reading these articles I wrote abstractly, this has helped me come to terms with why this was happening. When I write I oftentimes “float away on abstract words” (Maguire, 2012), meaning that my words are not concrete because I lack specific examples which makes it “too vague, not operational” (Maguire, 2012). The way to overcome this obstacle is objects, physical objects! When writing an essay we forget that the reader is learning through the author, any missing details can alter the readers perspective. Writing vividly is important as it can draw the reader into the work as if they were actually experiencing an event. Most students, including me post abstract work instead of work that includes physical objects. This is due to the multiple ideas that are thought to be good ideas yet they tend to redirect the authors focus which in terms redirects the readers attention to multiple subjects of what the author has presented. This is why John Maguire believes “The Secret to Good Writing: It’s About Objects, Not Ideas”, and teaching students that thinking of examples as objects will have “their writing become vivid” (Maguire, 2012). Haltman details that “the most persistent object metaphors expressive of belief”, because two people may view the same object differently. This is normal as some people lack the “skill of giving specific concrete examples” (Maguire, 2012). While this is not all people, it is seen a lot in school settings, a professor may ask a question and you may know it but you’re not sure how to formulate your answer so you decide to keep your hand down. When describing an object you must “pay careful attention, to all aspects” in its entirety as missing one small detail can change your view on the object which in terms changes your “material expression in a language of formal oppositions” (Haltman). We explain objects in the way that we can best interpret them as a “key to good description is a rich, nuanced vocabulary” (Haltman). These readings have showed me I have a lot to work on as far as vocabulary, in order to enhance my descriptions of objects. Maguire believes that this lack of skill is still trainable and is seen in many comp classes.
- Maguire, John. “The Secret to Good Writing: It’s About Objects, Not Ideas.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 2 Oct. 2012, www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/10/the-secret-to-good-writing-its-about-objects-not-ideas/263113/.
- Prown, Jules, and Kenneth Haltman. “Essays in Material Culture”