Posted on November 28, 2018
Takeaway’s from Stedman’s Article:
- The first “Annoyance” which he mentioned is something that even I feel when reading an essay, if it exists in it. Using quotations without context is definitely not appropriate. It gets the reader confused and somewhat perplexed. Even I had the habit of committing this mistake quite often. I would just mention the quotation without context and get to its context much later in the essay. I didn’t realize this when my High School English teacher pointed this out to me and when I gave it a close read even I was to an extent annoyed by it. Yet, Stedman offers a very simple solution which I have started implementing and will continue to do so in my upcoming assignments. The most important thing is to put yourself in the reader’s place and review your essay and go back to the quotations. If you have not given context to it, you yourself will feel that there is something wrong with it. It is important to review and revise. You need to establish all the possible facts before you introduce your quotes to the reader. Where it is coming from? Who says it? Why is it important in this part of your essay? These are things your reader should know when putting in a quote.
- The second thing which I related to the most was “Uncle Barry and his Encyclopedia of Useless Information.” It is something I have been criticized upon a lot when writing my assignments. The issue Stedman talks about is giving too many quotations and for me this does not only apply to quotations but subject matter in my essay. I tend to deviate from the topic and start talking about things all over the place. Sometimes I would insert quotes even though it isn’t needed there. I was then made to realize as to how important it is to focus on key information to help the reader understand your essay better. I have been implanting Stedman’s technique for quite some time now. It’s as simple as revising and rethinking your essay. The main idea behind it is to go back and look at each quotation and analyze and understand its importance, whether it is needed or not. Talk to yourself and make yourself understand its importance and the reader will definitely follow.
- The next is giving the quotation in the right place. This is also something that I have struggled with. My sentence structures and use of conjunctions and adverbs used to be pretty bad a few years back. I didn’t know how to grammatically connect to statements the way they should be. This would confuse not only my teacher but me too. This is a common mistake I encounter, when I write essays fast to allow the flow of thought. Once I write everything down I fail to go back and recheck my essay to see if everything is connected and written correctly. I would mix up words or miss writing an article or conjunction and that would make the sentence sound completely different. Stedman says that this “Annoyance” has the easiest solution. All you have to do is take a deep breath and read your essay again, slowly and thoroughly. The best thing to do is to even read it out aloud to someone like a friend or your parent or even your dog. When you read it out you will find the mistakes yourself and it will help make the essay a lot better and give the reader an enjoyable experience.