Writing is a Non-Linear and Recursive Process


Writing is a Non-Linear and Recursive Process

In Lewis Carroll’s tale Alice in Wonderland, listed here dialog takes place between the King plus the White Rabbit. Alice is on trial, and the Rabbit believes that he has a letter which may prove her innocence. He asks the King to allow him to read the letter. Following the King agrees, the Rabbit asks: “Where shall I begin, please, your Majesty?” While the King answers: “Begin in the beginning…. And go on till you arrived at the end: then stop.”

Writing, needless to say, isn’t the just like reading, but writers who will be used to the product-based approach to composing often focus on their compositions in a way comparable to the only where the Rabbit read his letter. As you recall, the product-based approach requires writers to “think before they write.” According to this theory, we have to plan and set down our whole compositions inside our heads before we could begin writing them down. Consequently, a writer who’s got the whole piece stored in the or her mind, can quite easily write it right from the start through the center also to the finish. Most likely, based on this method nothing should change in this content regarding the piece during the act of writing itself. Based on the product theory, writing is a sequential and orderly procedure of transcription.

Having studied the method model, however, we know that the content of every written piece gets developed during composing and not before. Thus, once we will work on a paper, we are not simply committing to paper or computer screen some pre-determined and ideas that are pre-planned existed within our heads before we began composing. Instead, we are formulating and refining those ideas as compose. Such a method allows us to look after the information regarding the piece before be begin to worry about its structure.

Writers who approach composing in a linear way, have a tendency to think about their pieces in terms of structure rather than content first. That is, before they even show up with enough to state, they, at the least subconsciously, begin to be worried about introduction, body, conclusion, as well as other structural components of a text that does not yet exist. It is hard to allow them to do otherwise because, then you have to create the pieces of the future paper sequentially if writing is linear (and in their minds it is. Based on this method, it is impossible to write the body of a text ahead of the introduction. Similarly, within this framework, you cannot write a conclusion prior to the introduction is completed, an such like.

Writing is a non-linear and process that is recursive. Which means most writers try not to “begin at the” that is beginning of piece and “end at the end.” Instead, composing takes places in chunks, with authors going back and forth between clusters of ideas and writing possibilities, constantly reviewing and revising them, and moving them between the various elements of the text that is prospective.

So, how might this non-linear method of writing operate in practical terms? To comprehend, consider one student’s composing process.

Melissa Hull was a learning student in another of my first-year writing classes. Among the assignments for the reason that class required her to find and study a text produced by some oppressed or under-represented ethnic or group that is cultural to exhibit how that group had, with time, adjusted its writing and its particular self-representation to be able to survive in a society dominated by other cultures. Melissa chose to study texts generated by Arvanites, an ethnic and linguistic minority in Greece. Melissa’s method of the project is an excellent exemplory case of the recursive and non-linearity nature of writing. I interviewed Melissa to gain an insight into her research and writing processes.

The following are summaries of areas of our conversation.

PZ: Could you describe the early stages of this project? How do you begin to seem sensible of the assignment?

MH: I started to take notes and write down ideas before even finding any texts published by Arvanites. However, I did not too want to get far along in to the project without showing it to someone first. I was worried that maybe I was doing something amiss.

PZ: How do you start your research and just why do you elect to write about Arvanites?

MH: I did some searches of online databases in the library websites on marginalized cultures. To start with, the assignment was a little confusing, though.

PZ: would you describe the writing of the draft that is first?

MH: I did some searches and discovered a lot of materials about Arvanites but none by them. It appears that their language is nearly dead, so there aren’t many written texts by them. Some texts were found by me on the internet having said that they certainly were by Arvanites, nevertheless they were in Greek, and so I could not opt for them. I decided to start out writing the draft simply to make a far better sense of the assignment also to pass by the thing I had. I thought things would become clearer when I went. I finished up writing five drafts.

PZ: I seem to remember after you write the very first rough draft that you struggled? The thing that was difficult and just how do you resolve the problems?

MH: I knew nothing at all about them, however they seemed intriguing and wished to find out.

PZ: Could you describe the differences between your first and drafts that are following?

MH: After I wrote the first draft and received some feedback from my workshop group, I begun to understand that i want a big change of direction during my approach because I became not likely to be able to find enough texts by the Arvanites. So, I looked a bit broader and wondered if I could use other components of their culture, such as for instance architecture and crafts, as texts. I was also beginning to understand that the point of my paper could possibly be that there weren’t enough texts by the Arvanites and therefore facts showed something about their culture. So, my point of look at the niche changed when I kept drafts that are writing researching.

As you can see from all of these excerpts, Melissa’s plans while the direction in which her paper was going change as she conducted additional research, revised, and received responses from her classmates and instructor. She was creating meaning in and through the process of research and writing.

So how exactly does the non-linear in addition to nature that is non-sequential of writing process affect you as a writer? It urges one in my paper or on my paper to move far from thinking regarding the compositions in structual terms of an introduction, body, and conclusion. Very often, when students discuss their writing plans they say something like “and then, in this paragraph, I will have idea X with me. After which within the next paragraph, i am going to include story Y.” Certainly, there comes an occasion within the writing process when a writer needs to revise for structure and coherence deciding how exactly to organize paragraphs and sentences. But, if you ask me, many student writers begin to worry about structure way too early, way before they usually have fully formed and developed their ideas for writing.

So, as you commence to write your next piece, I invite you to start with thinking not in regards to the structure of the yet unwritten text but about its content. You will create the structure later, once you know what type of material you have for the writing. Your content will determine the structure of your paper, and you’ll generate that content not by going right on through some predetermined routine, but by involved in an innovative, non-linear, and way that is non-sequential.


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I am a 24-year-old fresh graduate who loves connecting with people, hearing their opinions and bouncing ideas off one another. I enjoy having conversations with people from all walks of life. I can be reached at kexin.tan@outlook.com.

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