Course: Gender & Communication COM265 | Brianne Waychoff Summer ’20

About writing..

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    • #3892


      I would like to get an idea and advice from the professor and my friends, how you limit writing the specific points on the paper.
      For example, while reading chapters 1 and 2, I got myself into so many places where an incident has happened and can relate and I get excited to share that in my paper, but when it comes about writing I get all over the place to put my thoughts.
      I would be really grateful for any kind of suggestions.

    • #3895

      Brianne Waychoff

      This is an excellent question! And I am sure you are not alone in wondering. It is something that comes with practice and with reading and working in a subject area. Here are some tips that help me, though I hope others will add. If they don’t work for you, that’s OK! There are lots of strategies that work differently for different people.

      1. The first thing is to be OK with not being able to share everything. That is hard, especially with topics like gender that feel so personal. You only have so much space and have to be selective. Keep the ideas that you can’t include somewhere else – there might be a time to use them later.
      2. Write it all out! Even if it doesn’t make sense. Then you can go back and see what you have and reorganize it. I like to share the story that the first draft of my dissertation was 400 pages. That is not good, though the number is impressive. My final dissertation was under 200 pages but it was necessary for me to write those 400 pages to see what was most important. Now — I understand that we don’t all have the luxury of time to do that. But just getting it all out has been really helpful for me.
      3. Map it! Or draw or chart it. Many people like to use mind-mapping strategies or outlining to organize thoughts. Kind of like the identity diagram, you could try to represent your thoughts visually to help you get organized. One thing I have done in the past is to put notes on different notecards and then literally put them into stacks of related ideas. Or sometimes I will keep notes in multiple documents with very clear titles on my computer so I can cut and paste.
      4. No writing is ever useless. It sometimes feels like a waste to write so much and then only use part of it. It isn’t! It’s part of a necessary process of getting out our thoughts and then we go back and organize them later. In Gender Stories they talk about this – we make meaning by turning the events of our lives into narratives.

      Hope these tips help and that others will share, too!

    • #3896


      Thank You, Brianne. These are great tips. I will work on it.

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