Throughout the semester, there have been several concepts that we have discussed that will help me for the future:
Dashes: Dashes help to change the pace of reading, and can allow for pauses. They draw your attention away, and can help make interesting connections. Learning about the two types of dashes, N and M dashes, shown this way to demonstrate their size within the text, helped me learn how to better communicate them in my writing. I had not understood the difference before this point, and so this can help me as I continue on to receive my graduate degree.
Clarity: Discussing clarity in class was helpful for me, especially as I have progressed throughout my English degree and have improved my writing. I can see where I switched from simply writing to make it sound well-written, to truly caring how it sounds, and getting my point across in a clear, concise manner. I have learned, through reading Microstyle, how to vary my writing so that clarity becomes dominant, and it has helped remind me to keep things simple and understandable for all audiences.
Sentences: We talked about a wide range of sentence structures, and how varying sentence length can help get points across. I love creating complex sentences, but I also love inserting short sentences that pack a punch in them. As I have written with more sentence length variety, I have seen my writing improve. I think back to some of the books I read growing up with their varied sentence lengths, and how powerful the shorter sentences could be. Sometimes, you need the variety, and as a librarian, I will need to be able to communicate with children and young adults who are not as familiar with some sentence types, and who understand the shorter ones better.
Subordinating and Additive Style: These sentence types demonstrate how authors like James Joyce and Virginia Woolf wrote. I read Mrs. Dalloway for class last semester, and I loved it. I do not think I would have understood it in the same way before that semester, but I have come to love and appreciate so many types of writing throughout studying English here. I love stream of conscious narration, and it made so much sense to me when reading this novel. These style types, particularly the additive, can help me to convey how people really think in an interesting manner. I can also help portray pictures that then grow the longer the text goes. It really is a style of its own.
Being Aware of Audience: This chapter made me think about all the papers that I have written, particularly throughout my college years. Sometimes, my professors would be unclear as to the audience we should write to, but more often than not, we were told to write as if those reading our papers would have read the same things we did. It is important to be aware of the audience, and strive to find that sweet middle spot so we are not insulting or too far over their heads with our writing. To do this, we simply need to add explanations and examples so all may understand.