The craft of writing effectively
Friday 2 June 2023

The lecture is about academic writing. However it is also useful in technical writing for developers

  • Stop thinking about rules and start thinking about readers
  • Writing is a tool for thinking
    • Thinking and writing are not separate processes
    • You generate the text while you’re thinking
  • Your writing helped you think.
    • This is different than how your readers expect to read
    • Readers: slow down, reread, they don’t understand, they stop
  • If your readers dont NEED to read it they’ll stop
  • Your teachers were paid to read your writing
  • Readers after school period read because they think text is valuable to THEM
  • Writing needs to be:
    • Clear
    • Organized
    • Persuasive
    • Most importantly: Valuable
  • Value is about readers not the content
    • Some readers will value your writing and other group will think it’s useless
  • Text should show why it’s important
  • no body cares what’s inside of your head unless they’re paid to care
  • Writing is not communicating your ideas to your readers
    • It’s changing their ideas
    • Nobody cares what ideas you have
  • Your work is not new or original. it’s vaulable work.
    • You’re not here to create new knowledge. but valuable knowledge.
  • Every community has code. set of words that communicate value
    • Know the code to make your text persuasive
  • Have an argument not an explanation
  • If you’re challenging the community you need to do it under the code
  • There are insulting ways to do it. avoid it
  • Your writing function is to help your readers understanding better something they want to understand well
  • Reasons for writing is different than reasons for reading
  • The function is to move the conversation forward
  • The function is not to be preserved indefinitely
  • It’s not to reveal what’s in your head but to change the space of what’s going on between your heads
  • Words that create tension: however, challenge, contradiction, despite, instability, red flag, instability.
  • Avoid talking about yourself, it’s not about YOUR problem.
  • the problem needs to reside on the reader side not the writer side
  • you locate a problem in a specific reading communities
  • Show that the situation is unstable
  • Readers look for models of inconsistency to identify value
  • “We have a gap in our knowledge” a polite way to say: “We’re wrong” about something
  • It’s huge problem for some communities to use a category that they don’t understand

#writing #lectures #coms


See Also