When I read an opinion or a social commentary whether in a blog, email, article I am very critical. Two words “reference” and “justify” has been ingrained in my mind. Every time I read something I ask myself, how do you know this? What does that mean? This can make me very anal and I’m sure this post is going to make me sound preachy.
For a while now I’ve been saying that people are saying a lot but they fail to “make an argument”. I get that I approach it from an academic point of view, but hear me out.
Understanding is often based on many things, intellect, experience, age. When a reader comes to a piece of writing they bring with them their whole selves, their whole world to the table, and interpret and understand from their point of view.Now is it the writers fault that the reader can’t understand? No. You have to write in a way that is true to yourself, I get that. BUT, it is your responsibility to make sure what you are writing is understandable. Keep your audience in mind; though don’t only write for their pleasure. It’s a delicate balance.
So what is the point of this whole thing? If you going to comment on real life social issues, I suggest you learn how to do it. There is a reason “the pen is mightier than the sword”. You are accountable for your words.
For the writers
“MAKE AN ARGUMENT!!!” An argument in academic work is not a bad thing. It basically means, make a point with justifications. You can’t say “the sky is blue” you have to say “I’ve experienced the sea, therefore the sky is blue”. Now when you don’t do that, people make their own assumptions as to why you are saying “the sky is blue”. And their own assumptions will contradict your conclusion and miscommunication occurs.
Don’t use big words if it doesn’t come naturally to you. You just come across as a pompous asshole. And yes readers can tell.
Use sarcasm and humour with great caution. My funny and your funny are very different.
Spelling and grammar is something that I totally suck at. But if you don’t use this right, meaning is lost.
For the ReadersWalk a mile in the writer’s shoes. Yes, you have different experiences but try and understand what the writer is saying before you go shooting off your fowl mouth (Yes I have done this before). That is why I can tell you, read to understand “the argument”. Don’t get side tracked by the sparkle of the examples. Sometimes they don’t make sense to you because you don’t have the background to understand it.
I just read a blog that is perfect example of how people just loose the plot. She is talking about a subject, using examples to explain. The critics all get so caught up on the subject that the POINT of the article is completely lost. And they come off sounding like Dicks. If they did have a valid critique it’s lost among the bull shit they sprouting.
Be critical not RUDE. If you disagree, say so but with respect. And then justify your argument! State why you are critical - give evidence, even if it’s a made up example.
If you don’t understand, ask. Don’t respond to something you are not clear on!
This is specifically for serious social issues that are being discussed. I don’t like saying nasty things on peoples blog’s because I feel like it’s their personal space, but if you want to be critical about any of my stuff, go ahead. Just remember…make an argument!
Henry Cavill - Just because :D