Don’t Discuss What Things “Should” Be or Do

see how saying what things should be or do affects the objectivity of your writing!

As a general principle, I am always excited to see students passionate for causes or ideas about the real world! I believe that energy allows for those students to view the world in a more engaging way, rather than being too passive and apathetic. While every student takes a different amount of time to be mature and passionate, I do think that putting in some effort into showing a level of connection or thought into the real world does help with writing.

What that being said…

Formal English essays and responses, especially those dealing with a text, are not the right place to discuss your specific opinion of the world and society. Typically, topics given in assignments do ask a general question that can be approached in a number of ways. But the responses to those topics that focus too much on opinions of how the “world” should work or how “society” should be will miss engaging and working with the actual text that was assigned. While the novel or text itself may make those kinds of arguments on their own, it is important to not focus on how they are applied in the real world. Rather, good writing will demonstrate the “how” and “why” of those arguments in the text itself.

It is not an essay’s job to support or disown the views of the text itself (unless explicitly asked or tasked to), but to provide commentary and insight into how and why those arguments are done.


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