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283 Posts
I use the same pattern in probably every piece of writing:
The usual pattern is thesis->explanation/expansion->summary/conclusion

Well if we are talking about exam essay i'll try to write in a conservative(traditional) writing style while talking about something very expandeble, arguable and definitely liberal. (but the most important part is that it's easy to get a good score with, so no over the top revolutionary ideas) I'll create a plan(and suprisingly stick to it), some points I try to deliver and the rest is just the execution.

If it's a free-topic essay I will not limit my topics which means I'll be talking about something very theoretical. I will probably use a lot of figurative language.
(when I say a lot, I mean A S*** TON. It will sound very dramatic, with symbolism, inflammatory language and metaphors bouncing everywhere, a rollercoaster of emotional/dramatic spikes in the text)
I have a habit of not creating or following the plan as I get very excited about these.(rambling, more rambling, MOAR) In fact I spend more time editing than writing.

Sometimes when they ask me to tone down the figurative language I turn the text into a cold, glacial binary code.

When it comes to forum posts I seem to be a lot more comfortable. Probably because it's very similar to my favourite way of communication - vocal/speaking. It's the only place I'm more or less capable of balancing between pure binary and inflammatory bulls***. But new problems rise: I use a lot of side comments, brackets. Some of the previously discussed problems appear in my posts too.
My posts are either:
-30% actual info, 70% text
-70% info(usually with bullet points), 30% text

To be honest I'm a crappy writer, not my forte for sure. I mean the thoughts are great(according to my teacher), but conveying to most people is terrible. I prefer discussion with presentations much more(importantly not the other way around)

483 Posts
I love writing, I use it as a tool to assess how I feel about situations because sometimes I just don't know, uh, how to feel.
My writing style is heavily influenced by Oscar Wilde, Kurt Vonnegut and Cracked, the humor site.
Mostly satires or just some bit of my own philosophy I aim to deliver through the use of wit and humor.

3,941 Posts
I do a lot of scientific and technical writing for work and I work off of general templates in order to keep the data in an order that would make sense to the reader. However, I was the one who came up with the templates in the first place so it is laid out the way I like it. When I am writing creatively, I might make a really rough outline and then generally write free-form and edit the crap out of it later. I write like a 13 year old without auto-correct when I am texting, twittering, or on these forums. I notice the spelling and grammatical errors after I post.

In a side note, one of the funniest comments I got on a paper was for an essay I had to write for my cultural anthropology class in college. I, of course, procrastinated writing the paper until the night before. My roommate and I had a huge group of friends over to watch the season premiere of NBC's Thursday Night Must See TV (ER and Friends-tells you how old I am) and some drinking ensued. By the time everyone left, I still had to write my paper and I was drunk. So I plowed through it, saved it, and passed out on my bed. When my alarm went off, I had to race to class so I just printed out the paper and left without ever re-reading it. When I got it back, I had gotten an A and my professor had written "Great writing. Very coherent". Apparently I write more coherently drunk than sober.
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183 Posts
I'm a writing major and honestly nothing makes me think I suck at writing more than "studying" it.

I rely on a Vonnegut quote about writing:

“I think I succeeded as a writer because I did not come out of an English department. I used to write in the chemistry department. And I wrote some good stuff. If I had been in the English department, the prof would have looked at my short stories, congratulated me on my talent, and then showed me how Joyce or Hemingway handled the same elements of the short story. The prof would have placed me in competition with the greatest writers of all time, and that would have ended my writing career.”

I too use an extraneous amount of ellipses, parenthesis, dashes, and run-ons to illustrate my point. I think it's because I write as if I'm thinking out loud. Also, I really like italics.

My biggest problem is probably that I think too quickly for my writing. I often lack transitions and my points seem random. But to me, it all makes total sense.

Good thing I'm going into television writing! It's the perfect action-packed collaborative writing experience for Ne dominants, IMO.

2,572 Posts
Here is me in my Politics of Terrorism course. Apparently the overuse of quotations is a recurring theme.

I think another way one could phrase "terrorism delusion" would be to call it a "mass overreaction". In the days, months, and years after 9/11 politicians and military leaders spoke out warning the public that an entire wave of terrorist attacks on our soil was eminent, and that we needed to direct all funding, support, and resources available to hedge against this threat. As the chart in the reading pointed out, this was all over exaggerated. Less American lives have been lost to terrorist attacks since 9/11 than have died in bathtub drownings or lightning strikes. The problem I have with the reading though is that it asserts that this is all coincidental-there haven't been any large attacks since 9/11, so all the money and resources "wasted" toward the war on terror were for no point. I would like to point out that it's possible that our diligence could have been what hedged us against potential attacks, not that it just happened to not occur as the reading suggests.

One of the largest consequences of terrorism delusion was of course financial. The US spends an absurd amount of money on our military, and this budget continues to grow. If a politician speaks out and says we should lower the military budget, or even just reallocate resources, their opponents will say "9/11" and "that would make us too vulnerable!" Is this true? Is there a point to that amount of spending? I, being a layman at best, have no idea, but it is probably something that should be further analyzed.

Another consequence is the loss of privacy. After 9/11, the Patriot Act was swiftly passed, granting the government more ability to monitor US citizens. This equates to phone tapping, watch lists for readings and internet sites, use of photo imaging systems, and so on. This is all done to prevent terror, but I would hazard a guess that most of us-either before this class if you have studied political science and specifically anything to do with terrorism before, but definitely after this class, are probably on some sort of watch list due to the websites we have visited. Is this right? Is it worth it? There is a large disagreement among people regarding this and it's not a simple question, nor does it have a simple answer.

We have some struggling relationships with allies after it came out that we were monitoring their leaders as well. This hasn't ruined these alliances, but it has definitely strained them.

Finally, some people have completely lost their human rights in the name of fighting terrorism. Guantanamo Bay is still running. People are held, tortured, and interrogated there for years without enough evidence that they could actually be prosecuted.

7 Posts
Lol You guys, really think BEFORE write?
I just write whatever comes to my mind. I don't care if it's gonna be okay or not, I just write it ( best reflection ever. )
I write articles of common topics ( science, people,... ), stuff from school, or strange shit that comes to my mind. I also write novels of Sci-Fi ( and never finish them... ) ( or start them over and over )
Sometimes I start to over-think more than usually, then take a paper and put it ALL

In conclusion, I write randomly

Sharp Cutting Thing
9,678 Posts
I achieve flow and go.

No flow, no go.

3,074 Posts
Most common criticism of my writing is "need more flow" and "random." I go off on tangents and have trouble with flow... Imagine that. Takes several rough drafts to be fluid.
Yes, I see components, at first they tumble out in no particular order. I have to collect the paragraphs as I write naturally, but then the draft suggests a priority or sequence and I have to mechanically decide on summary statements or transition phrases for a re-write. I could start with an outline but it still ends up being a hybrid process because certain parts flow, like specific wording to explain one piece to the puzzle. I used to do more long-hand but have grown to appreciate the benefits of cut and paste.

491 Posts
I do a teensey, tiny bit of brainstorming to reference for structure, and I usually gather sources before I actually delve into writing. Most of the time those sources change during the process, but gathering them seems to cause me to think more critically about the topic or something.

When I'm actually ready to write I just kind of spit it out and shine it later. I'll reference my preset structure (which, again, is very loose) during the process. I always read the paper off to someone else and myself as I edit it. For some reason I always think my work is somehow flawed (probably because it is in some minuscule way).

Another thing that I do is write something that I believe to be fact and then find sources that pertain to my "guessed fact" rather than checking the sources themselves for facts. My guesses are usualy spot on though, so that's a plus. When they aren't I just switch up my guess to better fit with the available data.

I tend to use a lot of forms of "to be" as well, and that's a habit I want to get rid of. I read somewhere that ENTPs have a tendency to do that when writing, so I found that interesting.

Anyway here is an entire paper that I recently wrote regarding a Grimm Fairy tale and how it pertains to modern society (the actual message of the story was that one should always marry within their class or race...):


Mr. Ashley
ENG 112
November 4, 2014
Pens, Swords, Hedgehogs, Hares and the Slow Demise of Modern Society​
The face off between strength and intelligence has permeated through history as a seemingly endless debate, a debate fueled by bias and selfish intentions. This fight between the pen and the sword has only been glanced over by eyes blinded by senseless patriotism and self-destructive attitudes. “The Hare and the Hedgehog,” a tale written down by the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, faces this serious issue in a comically dark manner. The hedgehog holding the pen, and the hare holding the sword faced off in a race: a race resulting in the death of the bullying hare. Why did the hare die? Why didn't strength beat intelligence in a footrace? How did the hedgehog misuse his impeccable intelligence, and, as a society, why should we care? To get to the root of the issue let us define strength, intelligence, the pen and the sword, and let us find out why they were so important in the story and why they are so important today.
What is strength really? Is it the ability to lift a heavy weight or the the ability to run in a footrace and win? What about the ability physically attract a potential mate? I think that strength is a conglomeration of these abilities. One who exercises, one who polishes their strength, will most likely be more attractive to those around; thus, strength results in physical attractiveness (Horvath 1). It clearly requires strength to win in a footrace, or carry a heavy backpack on a battlefield, and strength is used in many sports which we enjoy as a people. Strength is by no means useless, and, even today, it is put to use in many ways.
'A walk!' said the hare, with a smile. 'It seems you might use your legs for a better purpose'” (J. Grimm and W. Grimm). In the initial stages of the hedgehog and the hare's meeting, the hare subtly
bolsters his strength by mocking the hedgehog, and, in doing so, he indicates his assumed superiority. Indeed, the hare does seem, in many ways, outwardly superior. The hedgehog challenges him to a race nonetheless, and the hare, ironically, deems the challenge ignorant on the part of the hedgehog. How could the hedgehog ever beat the hare in a footrace? The hedgehog's legs are stubby and crooked, the hare's streamlined and made for running. How can stubby, crooked legs outrun streamlined legs?
“Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see” (Bergman 1). Intelligence is many things. Intelligence is the ability to solve the unsolvable, think the unthinkable, write the unwritable and emote that which cannot be emoted. Intelligence is used in trickery, manipulation, science and math, and it seems to be the veritable Swiss army knife of human ability. Intelligence is the main thing that brought humans out of the animal kingdom and led us to forge our own. Intelligence led to small and large scale inventions and the foundation of religions attempting to satiate human curiosity; it led to the scientific method, and it led us to the moon and back. Intelligence is clearly more practical than strength, but, with such a broad range of applications, it can easily be put to devious use.
Just as the hare misused his strength, the hedgehog misused his intelligence. The hedgehog reacted to the hare's mockery with a devious plan, and this highly intelligent action is in much the same vein to how David beat Goliath in the Christian Bible; although, the tone of the hedgehog's action is much darker. Intelligence in this David-beats-Goliath sense is all about strategy. The hedgehog set up the plan with his wife, and they executed it to cause the hare's demise. This David-beats-Goliath intelligence is present in modern warfare and politics, and it is this very type of intelligence that is being misused today.
True, This! —
Beneath the rule of men entirely great
The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanters wand! — itself is nothing! —
But taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyse the Cæsars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless! — Take away the sword —
States can be saved without it! (Bulwer-Lyton 1)
Just as the sword fell at the feet of the exhausted hare, so too did it fall at the feet of many of the greatest empires the world has ever seen. Take for example the Mongol Empire, the largest empire ever known to man. It vanished, crumbled really, due to a lack of governance; it became too large for its own good. The Mongols chose to live by the sword, raping and pillaging all that they came across (Duiker and Spielvogel, “The Essential World History: To 1800: 6th Edition” 247-252). They were possibly the greatest embodiment of brute strength that the world has ever known. Alexander the Great fell under this brutish spell, as well as the Abbasids of the 7th century Middle East (Duiker and Spielvogel, “The Essential World History: To 1800: 6th Edition” 95-96, 104-106). All of these empires chose the sword over the pen, essentially sacrificing their wit for power.
The pen, on the other hand, creates governance and peace. It allows ideas to be transmitted throughout the ages, and it allows us to communicate ideas to one another in real time (just as the Hedgehog communicated his plan of action to his wife). The pen was used to write the The Code of Hammurabi (Duiker and Spielvogel, “The Essential World History: To 1800: 6th Edition” 10-11), the Constitution of the United States, and the Declaration of the Rights of Man (Duiker and Spielvogel, “The Essential World History: Volume 2: Since 1500” 471, 477-479), all papers which decreased chaos, increased peace and led to a more unified society. The pen entertains, informs and creates unity. The pen is infinite, and malleable; it is the embodiment of human intelligence. Unfortunately, in all of its potency, the pen can easily be misused.
From simply reading “The Hare and the Hedgehog” one concludes that the hedgehog won the
race. He defeated his opponent, and he walked away with the spoils. In reality, though, critical analysis reveals that the hedgehog actually lost just as much as the hare. The hare mocked the hedgehog and in turn the hedgehog killed the hare. The hedgehog misused his intelligence to manipulate instead of using it to assist. He could have pointed out the rudeness of his acquaintance, but, instead, he killed the hare with the hare's own strength. Like many governments throughout history, he used the pen to wield the sword.
Today, more than one would think, the pen is being used to wield the sword. As a people, we actually have laws on how to conduct warfare; we act as if death is a game (The Law of Land Warfare). We manipulate our brothers and sisters into giving us their valued resources, and if they evade this manipulation, we squelch them with a plan of action much like the hedgehog's (National Energy Policy 144, Palast). Our most useful trait is causing us to kill ourselves; we are the hare, and we are the hedgehog. We are manipulating ourselves into destruction. It is possible to turn away from this path, using the pen and our human imagination to create beautiful things rather than destroy them. We can unify and set down our swords; we must take up our pens and progress before we end up lying on the ground with blood streaming from our mouths.

I ran this through the text analyzer and got INTP. Never, even in my casual writings, have I gotten anything other than an "I." I tested it, and it wants lively, descriptive, actiony words to for an E result.

This bit of text got me ESFP: "Bro, let's horseback ride on a brown mare while simultaneously walking 47 purple, shaved poodles down a radical stream."

It could be a fun game to see if anyone can score whatever type the person above them says.
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