basic beliefs. Writing an evaluation requires that you think about what you val- ue and how your values compare to those of others. Perhaps most important, becoming an author confers authority on you; it gives you confidence to assert your own ideas and feelings.

In a very real sense, the writer writes in order to teach himself, to under- stand himself, to satisfy himself. . . . — ALFRED KAZIN

Some of the things that happen to us in life seem to have no meaning, but when you write them down, you find the meanings for them. . . .


Writing Connects You to Others

Nearly all of us use writing in one form or another — whether via e-mail, text mes- saging, instant messaging, blogging, Twitter, or Facebook — to keep in touch with friends and family. Many of us also use writing to take part in academic discussions and participate in civic debate and decision making. By writing about our experi- ences, ideas, and observations, we reach out to readers, offering them our own points of view and inviting them to share theirs in return.

The writing you do for your composition class will likewise help you connect with others. In writing an argument, for example, as you clarify your perspective and reexamine your own reasoning, you may ultimately influence other people’s opinions on your topic. Their responses to your writing may, in turn, cause you to reevaluate your own ideas. Collaborative writing — as, for example, if you are as- signed to write a proposal with a group of classmates — enables you to work di- rectly with others to invent new ways of solving complex problems.

Writing is the act of saying I, of imposing oneself upon other people, of saying listen to me, see it my way, change your mind. — JOAN DIDION

It’s the sense of being in contact with people who are part of a particular audience that really makes a difference to me in writing.


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