Effective writing is essential in that it allows the individual reading the text to effectively understand everything that one is trying to communicate or saying. There are numerous approaches that students can use in developing effective writing skills. One of the things to understand is that language needs to be clear and simple so as not to confuse the reader. In order to write effectively, one needs to communicate their ideas by creating emphasis on the main ideas and providing supporting evidence to the reader. Eric Henderson provides key guiding principles on the best approach students can use in learning how to write business, academic and personal contexts in the book 'Writing by Choice'. The following document is going to focus on Eric Henderson's Writing by Choice providing key principles that students should use in becoming effective writers.
In the modern society, students are finding it hard to write academic essays due to lack of appropriate writing skills that can ensure that the reader understands their contexts. Writing skills are important in that they help us to transfer our ideas and thoughts into writing. One of the major challenges which directly influence effective writing is the use of 'slang' and shortened words in writing message texts. This greatly affects students ability to construct sentences that are grammatically correct especially in the modern digital era where most people use mobile phones to send text messages which are usually in abbreviated or shortened form for example 'btw' meaning 'between' (Henderson et al 123).
'Writing by Choice' written by Eric Henderson is a detailed, comprehensive and widely applicable method for developing effective skills in writing in the personal, business and academic realms. The book offers students with helpful guidelines without a specific formula. It aims at teaching modern day students how to write documents that are clear and thoughtful by encouraging students to make informed decisions on how to effectively communicate their ideas to the public. Rather than limiting students to prescriptive conventions, the book comprises of a host of features that include sample readings and writings, group together with individual exercises, informative graphs and charts, annotations together with post and pre-reading questions that engage students with numerous writing possibilities (Henderson et al 123).
The author, Eric Henderson, clearly understands the numerous challenges inherent in communicating thoughtfully, effectively and clearly. He believes that by establishing essential guidelines and principles to effective writing should enhance the student's writing skills rather than hamper their thoughts and expression. At the heart of this book, then, Henderson focuses on assisting student writers in ways to make informed decisions among the numerous variables which present themselves in different types of writing. This book, therefore, provides students with a holistic, detailed and widely applicable approach which students can use to enhance their writing skills (Henderson,219). The author's approach to numerous topics is through the use of open-ended questions rather than using definitive statements in order to encourage the connection that individuals can develop between writing and thinking.
This new edition by Henderson combines a host of collaborative and individual exercises which urges students to engage with the acts of reading and writing and appreciate the interrelation and interconnectedness. The author also uses sample essays and readings to highlight the essential concepts in a useable format that is tangible. This new edition of 'Writing by Choice' focuses on three common types of essays used by students which include; expository, literary and argumentative (Henderson,309). In addition to this, the book also focuses on contemporary topics such as electronic research , diction, source reliability, vocabulary together with writing across numerous discipline.
For instance, the book describes expository essays as the informative art of writing which highlights a balanced analysis of a given topic. In this type of essay, it is the duty of the writer to define and explain the topic using facts, examples together with statistics. Expository writing comprises of a wide range of essay variations such as contrast and comparison essay , the 'how to' or process essay and the cause and effect essay. In this type of writing the author is not supposed to provide personal feelings since most of the information solely relies on facts.
From the book, it is evident that in order to write effectively, one needs to focus on the type of tone they use in writing. The tone of the text can assist a writer to be more effective in presenting their thoughts and ideas. For instance, certain forms of communication such as proposals and memorandums require a student to use a formal tone while writing to peers requires an informal tone. Separating the two is essential since it is determined by the purpose of the writing and audience that one wishes to address. Therefore it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that their texts are clear, precise and grammatically correct so as to help the reader to understand what the writer intends to communicate from the writing.
I believe that 'Writing by Choice' is an excellent textbook for students learning how to write effectively since it provides comprehensive approaches and examples that present good models of readable academic prose. Eric Henderson also displays sensitivity towards the student's plight in understanding basic writing skills by providing basic grammatic approaches that one can use in presenting their ideas to the audience.
Henderson, Eric. Writing by Choice. 3 ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2015. Print
Henderson, Anne T., and Karen L. Mapp. "A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement. Annual Synthesis, 2002." (2002).
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