Seeking Conventionality vs. Practicing Conventions

 

What if, instead of complaining about the possibility of certain writers using text messaging language in their academic writing, we expected them to text with a purpose and even include it in multi-genre writing?

What if we expected them to investigate, define, and honor the conventionality of text messaging language?

What if, instead of teaching conventions from the front of the room, we invited writers to study how punctuation, mechanics, and usage function differently inside of varied forms?

And what if we expected writers to teach us everything they’ve learned from these studies?

What if we learned more about this ourselves?

I’m noticing something. I’m noticing that it is common for too many of us to impose the rules that apply to one kind of writing (the kind we tend to consume and value most) on all kinds of writing (especially the kinds we don’t consume often or value much at all). And that’s not a good thing.

I’m realizing something, too: I can’t criticize inexperienced writers for failing to follow those rules when I haven’t taken the time to seek conventionality across those diverse and shape-shifting forms myself.

I spent each morning of the week behind me sharing and attempting to solve writing teachers’ largest editing dilemmas in my daily #FiveMinuteFix videos. I’ve included some simple shifts, but I hope I’ve opened some bigger conversations here as well.

Wanna learn how to up your peer-editing game? Balance your paper load and free-up your weekends? Help writers edit bit by bit? Approach errors and mistakes differently, in order to serve writers better? Take a peek at this week’s series.

Interested in keeping up with these daily tips? Join my Building Better Writers Facebook group. I drop a #FiveMinuteFix there each morning.

And if you’ve been supporting me as I’ve started this new venture, thank you! Your encouragement and love matters, friends!

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