Serving students and faculty since 1971

I am always reading. By reading, I don’t mean that I’m simply reading my favorite Kurt Vonnegut book or articles about the Detroit Lions. I’m reading advertisements, texts messages, quotes posted inside of high school classrooms, and 140 character tweets. These readings may seem diverse and disconnected, but they all have a common factor. They all seep with personality. When I read an advertisement, I can see the creativity that was built into it. When I read a text message, it reeks of emotion. When I look at a quote inside of a high school classroom, I know that it evolves into a larger story where I can usually find an allegorical meaning. Where I don’t observe personality, is in most students’ writing. Now hear me out before you jump to your keyboard and start conjuring counter arguments.

In the past year, I’ve taken a long hard look at the way I write. I’ve realized that I’m always writing for a specific audience. But wait, isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? Yes, a wise folk tale told us all as young tykes to write for the audience that you expect to read your paper. What if we changed that narrative? What if I told it is wise to write for your audience, but you need to be mindful of including your personality in your paper? I’m not talking about typing your name in the upper left hand corner. What if you wrote with a witty tone that matches your persona? Or used emotion to hammer down your point? Or self-reflected on the writing process itself in the paper your writing? (I’m definitely using too many questions here). I’m not advocating for creating a research paper with completely subjective thoughts or writing an informative essay where you’ve discovered the information exclusively innately. I’m asking you to consider your personality when you write a paper to create a sense of ownership in your writing.