Writing Unveiled: Roundtable Reflections I

Why I Write

These exploratory Writing conversations are inspired by the fact that as university students and academic staff we have one main thing in common regardless of our disciplines, literacies and nationalities: we all have to write!

I’m running a Writing Roundtable in the School of Education at the University of Nottingham where our students and staff can air and share their experiences of being academic writers. I am using this blog to track these conversations, mainly so that I don’t forget the insights that come out of exploratory informal talk.

Our first conversation was prompted by George Orwell’s 1946 essay on ‘Why I Write’ available here: http://orwell.ru/library/essays/wiw/english/e_wiw.

These are just some of the honest, thought-provoking reactions that came out of this session which at the time made us think about the consequences of adopting each position:

  • “I write for myself, not for others”
  • “I follow academic conventions so that others can understand me”
  • “academic conventions don’t allow me to say what I want to say”

Our next conversation takes off from the controversies surrounding the use of the discursive ‘I’: http://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/blog/2013/apr/19/academic-writing-first-person-singular.