Read like a boss! I mean, a writer

I injected humor into my title! I’m so proud. But mostly because I haven’t found a comic strip for this post!

I’m looking at “Read Like a Writer” by Mike Bunn as a writer, and I like many of the techniques he uses to create a coherent article. He uses testimony from former students to generate discussion on the topic, and that makes the information Bunn give relate to me as a college student. It’s easy for professor or scholar talk about reading like a writer from their perspective; however, I want to hear from people like me–students who sat in a class and used the technique to great benefit.

I should get a notebook and write down every question Bunn says a reader should ask themselves as they look at a text. Or maybe just print out the article and highlight the questions. Whatever the choice, these are useful and practical questions to ask. More importantly, the questions Bunn generates reminds me of my Oral Interpretation class. We had to analyze a text by asking questions: What phrases or words confused you? How does the text sound when you read it? What emotions come out of the text that you can use when presenting it to an audience? I took from this article that reading like a reader means reading for pleasure and information. But reading like a writer requires a deeper level of thinking, a greater engagement with a text that you otherwise wouldn’t have.

Most of all, Bunn won my trust and interest when he analyzed the first paragraph of his article. I thought to myself, “Great!” His breaking down that paragraph reminded me (once again) of a professor I’m taking a class with now who walks the class through short stories, analyzing words, sentences, and paragraphs for meaning. Once I start reading like a writer, I see tool and materials the writer uses to build his or her house. Everything in the house as a purpose, whether it’s practical, aesthetic, or traditional–those are the tools used to create an effective work. Reading like a writer breaks down those parts and to see why everything fits together. It’s a great technique that I will pay more attention to.

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2 Responses to Read like a boss! I mean, a writer

  1. wacrant2011 says:

    Great post! I agree with what you said about writing down the questions he suggested we ask as we read. I know that I will think and write a lot more as I read from now on. This is the kind of article I think I will always go back to as I “learn to read again”. I also love what you said about intergrating student’s thoughts into the article. It certainly made me pay more attention and take what he was saying more seriously. You did a great job with your post 🙂

  2. Valley Girl says:

    I really like what you said in this post. I never thought about it before, but there are some books that I choose to read specifically because I can read them for pleasure. That is the end result I hope to get out of those types of books. When you stated, “reading like a reader means reading for pleasure and information. But reading like a writer requires a deeper level of thinking, a greater engagement with a text that you otherwise wouldn’t have.” This is very true. When I read like a writer, I am looking at all the different layers of understanding, the format, as well as the content of the book or essay I am reading. It engages a different part of my brain and makes me work harder, but I gain more from the experience. I think I will never look at written material the same after this class. This class has changed me, and that is a good thing! Thanks for sharing this!

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