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Xiuzhu_Chen Mr. Padgett English 1101 12/8/2013 What is Good Writing? What is good writing? This is a really hard question. Different people have different answers. Some people think that good writing must contain a variety of vocabulary. Some people will say that good writing must have good grammar. In my opinion, good writing are clear, good communication between reader and writer, trying to use simple words to describe and good writing needs to practice many times. Clear means focusing on the thesis and not putting much other information which is disconnected with the thesis to confuse the readers. People would prefer to read the writing which is clear because they can understand the thesis quickly. A paper or an article that is easy to understand means that writers could use a simple method to describe the writing. Then readers could easily to understand what the writer is trying to say. Good communication means writer and reader have a good communication based on the writing. When people enjoy reading a book, he or she must understand what the book is talking about. If people do not understand the writers thesis, they usually do not like the writing. The basic purpose of a writer is to get people to read the writing. If an article confuses people, most people would not choose to read this article. So, the most important thing is trying to make the readers get the point that the writer is trying to say. After that, we should care about the grammar and vocabulary. This does not mean that grammar and vocabulary are not important. Stephen King said to put the vocabulary on the top shelf of toolbox, and do not make any conscious effort to

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improve it (1). In my opinion, he is trying to emphasis the importance of vocabs. But to improve the vocabs is a long- time work. So, we should know that vocabs are not build in oneday. It is a everyday job. One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you are maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones(2). Vocabulary and grammar are very basic elements to good writing, but the first aspect to define a good writing is being easy to understand. During our lifetime, we can always hear people say that you should never use first person to write an argument paper because it is not formal. But I always do not understand why we should not use first person in an argument paper. It sounds like an impossible mission to not use first person in writing because we say and write them on everyday. A good argument paper should have a clear thesis, supportive reasons, and strong counterarguments. If a paper can follow these rules, I think this one should be a good writing. In contrast, bad argument writing lack of thesis. In my opinion, this is the worst writing style because nobody can understand what he/she is talking about. In another words, it is a meaningless work. Most people do not want to read this kind of article because the writer and reader do not have the communication in article. Reading and writing are the most important thing as a writer. But they are not the whole thing as a writer. In my opinion, writers also need to a lot of experiences in life. So, they could have inspiration in writing. Reading a lot can get the source for writing. Practicing writing can help us more to understand the structure of an article. Reader and writer have a relationship which is communication. Communication is a very important method to involve the writer and reader. It can help the writer to understand deeply of writing from readers. A good communication should be the writer and reader have the same opinion of thesis. So, they could communicate more based on the same opinion. In contrast, a bad communication is when readers misunderstand the

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writers thesis. So, they do not have many common points to share with each other. What if the reader disagrees but still thinks the writing is good? That could happen. But writers can use persuasion which is a communication skill to convince the reader. The purpose of writing is making communication between different people. They could share some information and communicate with each other. Readers can get knowledge from the writer. In this semester, I really like Shitty First Drafts which was written by Anne Lamott. It is a really short article, but it tells me a lot. Lamott wrote that not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts. Very few writers really know what they are doing until they have done it (3). She put her opinion in the first paragraph because it can attract the readers attention at first sight. It is very easy to understand Lamotts idea, which is practicing. She did not use any complicated words, but she still described her own opinion in writing. It is easy to make people understand how to be a writer by this article. There are no other choices, just practicing. Practicing in writing is very hard work because it takes time to accomplish it. It needs writing a lot and reading. Sometimes people confused a question I have been practicing for a long time, why am I still not a good writer? In my opinion, they make a mistake in practicing. Practicing is not equal to learning. From trial and error, we should know learning by making mistakes. When we practicing writing, we need to focus on not only the mistakes which were made, but also we have learned from these mistakes. We need to summarize what lesson we have learned, where we stumbled ,and where we have succeeded. Through this process, the practicing of writing could help us to write better. I once took an English course. When the first argument assignment was due, I got a D on it. I did not understand why I got this grade. So, I asked my teacher and he told me that I cannot use two examples in argument paper because using two examples is not professional and it not a

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good way to support thesis. In that paper, I even used three examples to demonstrate my opinion. That is the reason why I got this grade. After that, I just used only one example to support my thesis. But it was so hard when I finished a paper because I did not have enough word in assignment. So, I always worry about my writing. During this semester, I change my mind. In my opinion, a good writing is based on a good thesis. A good thesis needs many examples to support it. More examples to a thesis could persuade audience easily. To me, I am an international student. English is not my mother tongue. So, writing is a hard work to me. But I always tell myself I have to make it clear even when using the simplest words. I do not think that using the simple word such as, use, do, like, is not as good as using complicated words. Sometimes people would prefer the complicated words because it sounds higher level than the simple words and hard vocabulary can make people feel intelligent and knowledgeable. But intelligence and knowledge are not equal to hard vocabulary. People can get hard vocab from the dictionary directly but not from their minds. Trying to follow the hard vocab is not the right way to write. For example, Stephen said that you will never say, John stopped long enough to perform an act of excretion, when you really mean, John stopped long enough to take a shit Writing is not a short-time work and needs us to put many efforts and summarize our work. I did not do many practicing on writing as before. So, I believe that I am not a good writer right now. I am always trying to make my paper clear and logic. To me, clear is not only a very essential element to good writing, but also the most important element to a paper. Without a clear thesis, people cannot understand the paper, they would refuse to read the paper. In the future, I will still keep my writing clear and easy to understand. I think it is the best way to be a good writer.

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Work cited: (1). King, Stephen. On Writing. New York: Pocket Books, 2000. 117. Print. (2). King, Stephen. On Writing. New York: Pocket Books, 2000. 117. Print. (3). Lamott, Anne. "Shitty First Drafts." Trans. Array Bird by Bird. 1994. Print.