Monday, October 31, 2011

Voice: Across the Curriculum

The writing process is different for everyone, but writing for a particular class can evoke a different voice or tone that’s present. Regardless of the writing itself, whether it’s creative, research, synthesis or any other style, your voice is present within the paper.

When writing a creative piece (fiction, play, poem, or essay based on personal experience), the voice of the writer can be examined insofar as the point of view of the characters or the type of creative piece overall. For example, the sentence, “I went home this past weekend for my brother’s birthday,” is a sentence in first person. Most of the time this is acceptable when writing creative pieces unless the assignment calls for something different. Also, when creating stories, having a steady narrator will allow for an avenue for readers to identify with the characters. While composing, the author has to make sure to maintain the voice in style and point of view in order to create cohesion of the piece itself.

In contrast to personal and creative writing, when writing research papers a lot of people don’t think their voices can be heard amongst the research. Sometimes this process causes difficulties for writers because they are struggling to make their voice heard since the use of “I,” “you,” and “we” are less common when composing a research paper. When writing a research-based paper, students should be composing mostly in third person, such as the use of “a lot of people” in the first sentence of this paragraph. Some commonly used phrases in research papers are “one,” “the results show…,” and “the conclusions are…” in contrast to pronouns such as “I” and “we.” For example, though this post doesn’t contain any pronoun indicators of being in first person, my voice shows by how my point is presented as well as by the tone of my post.

Being conscious of the assignment and what type of writing is required for a paper can help you use strategies to make sure your voice is present within a paper.

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