Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Think before you write

They say I say chapter 9 "Ain't so, Is Not" by Russell Durst and Cathy Birkenstein states on how Academic writing doesn’t always mean setting aside your own voice. The texts give many different ways to write in an academic and properly way by using “big words, long sentences, and complex sentences” (Birkenstein 121). The authors are trying to explain how we can write an academic structure while holding on to our voice. They give us some steps like developing a set of key terms and phrases for each text you write, and repeating yourself, but with a difference. They don't want us to drop our language we use every day, but once we walk in a classroom we should be a tad bit more professional when it comes to our vocabulary. Because everyday language shouldn’t be used in academic writing. We have to earn how to switch it on and off.

I'm going to use an article I wrote a year ago and take a paragraph from it. It was about how the police use too much force and kill innocent people. Looking back through it I saw some words that weren't very academic like and to slang for an English report. I wrote "The cops are wack and there pigs, There goes the popo or the 50 driving by" and I even shorten a word because to "bc" I can't believe I use to write this, my teacher was disappointed in me because he knew I could write better. I guess I let my anger get the better me because when people talk about the cops nothing good comes out of their mouths. And I let that come in my writing. Ever since that mistake, I learn how to turn off my slang in school and keep it in the streets where it belongs.


  1. ok I got the "popo" but don't know about the "50 driving by".

    No I'm not American, hence the reason I don't know ;-)

  2. I agree with you that in your academic writing you should not shorten any words. However, I disagree with you about using slang terms to capture your audience you could have prefaced the term with an explanation. For instance, some people use slang terms for a police officer such as "the po-po" then go on to explain your idea. I believe Birkenstein and Durst would agree that you could of captured your readers attention by using a term that he/she understood. Otherwise, I believe this is a pretty good blog!

  3. great summary...especially where you wrote "they don't want us to drop our language... but once we walk in a classroom we should be a tad bit more professional..."
    its somewhat similar to hidden intellectualism where graff mentions how we should take our own voice and street knowledge and learn how to use it when in an academic setting.
    anyways good blog

  4. Good conversation here, but I agree with Birkenstein and GRAFF (not Durst) that you can find room for your own language in your writing (without having to explain it or worry about being taken unprofessionally). It just takes practice :-)