Notes for “How to Read Like a Writer” and “…and by islands, I mean paragraphs”

Summary Of “How to Read Like a Writer”:

When we read like a writer, we are analyzing the author’s choices in words, how they organized it, and anything else the author has done to construct their work. We, as English students, have experience writing, so Charles Moran suggests that we are better able to “see” the authors choices.  Mike Bunn also says we need to ask a few questions about the writing before we start reading. (76) Bunn suggests that “Depending on the subject matter and the intended audience, it may make sense to be more or less formal in terms of language” (80) which says that we may not always have to use 100% proper English and use words like thou, nor, or thoust. Our writing needs to be appropriate for what we are writing. Bunn’s students also suggested for him to include that as the reader, you should be writing something as well. You should be marking up the text, taking notes, mark where the author makes an important choice. Bunn also refers back to his own first paragraph (71) asking the reader to think about the questions and what they would answer to this text.

Analyzing “…and by islands, I mean paragraphs”

One very big idea thats been burning at the back of my head ever since I first looked at this and I was so afraid I’d forget, is that the paragraphs changing is a symbol of how the islands themselves change. Some of them change every time you go back to them, and some of them change as you’re looking at them. The island itself will change and adapt, and the author wanted to have a truly symbolic piece of writing. One island I particularly paid attention to is the one at the far bottom left corner. Its very large and so is the writing that goes along with it. This one doesn’t change as you’re looking at it, it changes when you click on it. I read all of the paragraphs until it disappeared again, and then read through them again. This island is interesting because it is written like a journal piece. As I read through them, they went from her wondering if anyone would find her, to realizing she was alone, until she finally goes mad. These islands all have their own story and I think it’s notable that the larger islands have larger reading pieces than the smaller ones.



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