How to Read Like a Writer Notes

Summary for Reading Like a Writer

How to Read Like a Writer“, is an essay by Mike Bunn. Mike Bunn makes outlines and separates them in sections with bold headlines. In the beginning, he uses a personal story to start the essay, then goes into describing how to read like a writer. He emphasizes to pay close attention to the context you are reading. When you are reading, you have a goal. For example, look at the techniques the author used and what word choice are they using. Then you could start active reading, meaning ask yourself questions before reading the text by using the title. Next, as you continue reading you could ask yourself what is the audience the author is aiming for, what is the purpose of the text, and are these reading techniques you may want to use in your writing. Mike Bunn also points out we usually read for information. Subsequently, Mike Bunn shares how to read like writers he has you put it into practice towards the end of the article. Passages are given to you, and he walks through them with you to put what you learned into practice. We may not get it down right away but as we continue to apply the techniques when we read we will be doing it automatically.

Commentary for Reading Like a Writer

I must say from the last ten weeks, “How to Read Like a Writer” is my favorite assigned article so far in my English class. I feel like it was a work-book. Mike Bunn teaches us strategies to become a better reader and writer along with becoming aware of what authors do with their writing. He doesn’t just stop there. In the end, he gives you mini passages and goes through them with you to put into practice what you just have learned from his essay. I thought that was so helpful and the best learning experience I received from an article we have read in class. I am also a person who learns best with examples after an explanation. My English instructor always emphasis’ on what kind of audience we want our posts to be directed towards. I didn’t realize the importance of this until it was explained more in-depth. Our writing isn’t going to make sense if we are an information genre if we are writing like it is our diary. Another piece that stood out to me was, questions to ask yourself while you are reading. Mike goes into depth about questions to ask yourself while your reading for example questions you may ask yourself could be, “How effective is the language the author uses?”, “Is it too formal?”, “Too informal”, or “Perfectly appropriate?”. These are questions I wouldn’t have even thought of! After reading the whole chapter, it reminded me of annotation. A reading strategy my Reading instructor taught us. In annotating articles, we are looking for the main idea, major and minor details, and new vocabulary words, along with asking questions as we read. Mike Bunn points out to observe what word choice the author uses. We expand our vocabulary by reading frequently. When it came to annotating articles, I only asked questions about the title before I began reading but while I was reading, I didn’t go into depth with questions the way Mike teaches you in this article. Overall, I feel like to become a better writer we need to be like detectives and dissect the reading to get a better understanding what the reader is trying to convey that we can pick up those new techniques the author uses and apply them to our writing.

Making Connections  …and by islands I mean paragraphs

I remember in middle school I was exposed to a poem book called, “A Light in the Attic“, by Shel Silverstein. It was a poetic book with creative poems, and they were constructed each constructed differently from the way they were written to what they meant. I was reminded of this book when our second reading of this week was constructed like a map with mini paragraphs each having their own story. The title, “…by islands I mean paragraphs”, is a minor description of what the reading is. They are little islands that are composed as paragraphs with different stories, and some of them change as you look at them or they break after a few minutes are so. I wasn’t very fond of this article, but it brought me back to my childhood readings, and that’s a nice feeling you cannot replace.

My Experience Reading Both Articles

I loved reading, “How to Read Like a Writer”. I thought it was very well put together. I enjoyed reading other people’s techniques on what they do when they read. It was wise for Mike Bunn to reach out to former students and get their feedback. On the other hand with the other article, …by islands I mean paragraphs, I wasn’t too thrilled about it. I think you need to read it as a leisure activity. I am a person that likes directed readings and that one wasn’t my kind of assigned reading. Some of the paragraphs changed, that was neat, and it had different types of poetry.



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