“How to Read Like a Writer” & “… and by islands, i mean paragraphs” Notes

Summary: How to Read Like a Writer

“When you read like a writer, you are trying to figure out how the text you are reading was constructed so that you learn how to “build” one for yourself.”

This article was very interesting to me. Throughout, the author talked about things we should focus on when we are working on how to read like a writer. Some of these things included thinking about why the author used this word instead of that word, what the genre of the story/article may be, what the purpose of the story/article is, what the intended audience may be, and even thinking about the evidence the author uses to support his or her claims.

The author stated that in order to read like a writer, you need to try to understand the way that the author has put the piece together and what that particular text can teach you about writing.

A few important things that I pulled out of this article was:

  • know what the author is writing/talking about
  • transitions
  • possibly starting out with personal experiences
  • the positive and negative impacts that author has on everything depending on be

One of the last suggestions that the author gave to help you read like a writer was to mark up your pages, write notes on the margins of the pages, and write notes both during and after reading. More times than not, the notes that people have written get used in their own papers. By using this technique, you can end up with a lot of useful ideas and information to help you with whatever you may have to write.

Main Idea/Key Terms: How to Read Like a Writer

Antiquated: old-fashioned or outdated

Context: the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms that can be fully understood and assessed.

Genre (in terms of articles): a category in artistic composure characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter.

Writerly Techniques: include, but are not limited to, narrative structure, pattern, diction, irony, allusion, tone, and setting.

Contextual Factors: characteristics of the ecology/environment that are related to the effectiveness of a collaboration.

The main idea of the article was to tell readers how to read in the same way that a writer reads. If you think about it, writers do not have the same minds as people who are not writers. When writers are reading, they are thinking about why the author used this word instead of that word, the genre of the article/story, the authors purpose, etc. This article taught readers how to read like writers.

Commentary: …and by islands, i mean paragraphs

Instead of calling this a reading, I would like to call it an adventure. I would call it this because it wasn’t your typical reading. This adventure had you scrolling all around the page, unsure of which order to read the paragraphs in, and unsure if you were even doing this right. The paragraphs were constantly changing, sometimes even without you clicking on them, and that made it even more difficult. I like it though. Throughout this adventure, I was trying to find the meaning of each paragraph. I discovered that each paragraph seemed as if the author was describing how they survived on that specific island or what they found. Some paragraphs talked about the relationship between islands and paragraphs and some talked about certain items that were found at the specific island. Each paragraph was unique in it’s own way.

At the end of this adventure, I also discovered what I think is the meaning of the title. By titling it “… and by islands, i mean paragraphs,” it showed that the islands are the paragraphs of the reading. In some readings, you are unsure of where to start with discovering why the author wrote it, what the main idea is, or why this specific detail was even included. When you are on an island, you have NO idea where to start with anything! I feel that the title was very fitting for this article.

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