“My task, which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel–it is, before all, to make you see.” This quote by Joseph Conrad has run deeply through my veins from the time my eyes met these words. I am a writer. I am bored often because nothing can entertain me long. Writing is a vat of expressions splashed on a page. Before writing, the page is blank and the story is up to the writer holding the pen to develop. It is writing that keeps me entertained because paper is a blank slate that will not judge the words you splash onto them. I write for power of expression. Nothing is as powerful as a clever combination of words, and the only job of a writer is to rearrange them to find it. Over the past year of school at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, I have discovered the power of words—when arranged in a certain way, can unlock emotion and inspiration and bridge a connection between writer and reader.
Dr. Resa C. Bizzaro taught me in College Writing 101 the power of words in persuasion. All writing is persuasive writing. Writing has a purpose, whether it is creative writing or persuasive writing. Creative writing is convincing the readers of a story and provoking emotional connection to the characters. Persuasive writing’s goal in itself is to persuade the reader on a certain matter. I realized my skills of swaying people through my writing were weak because of the words I chose to defend my ideas and present my stories were weak. Words do not only evoke emotion when written with passion, but can persuade people when a well piece of work can connect with the readers and inspire change of thought. Through the weeks spent with Dr. Bizzaro, I have strengthened my persuasion skills and have built my vocabulary in order to convince my readers by correcting a mixture of horrific writing and fantastic writing, and through my own writing on matters which interested me.
Dr. Heather Powers taught me in Introduction to English Studies 122 how words can make a difference in many fields of work, along with the power of words in theory. Throughout the spring semester, Dr. Powers invited professors from different branches of the English department to speak to her students about English studies in their field. Speakers included professors from the education, film, writing, and law departments, each of them presenting the use of English, and the power and use of language in their track, opening my eyes to the many ways English and language can be used in the world.
Dr. Powers taught me and the class the power of words in theory. Language has many sides and hardly ever means only one thing—there are layers in writing. We covered the African-American theory, Marxist theory, psychoanalytical theory, feminism theory, and the gay and lesbian theory. Though learning each theory, I came to realize that language is not single-sided. Language can be interpreted in many ways. Different written works are also identified and interpreted by theory because of word choice. If a writer composed a story using dialect an African-American might use, it is a good hint that the African-American theory may apply in some way to the context. If words chosen to depict a character are signs of instability emotionally, the psychoanalytical theory may apply. Word choice is powerful to recognize the layers of literature. No work is flat. Written work that has emotion can be interpreted, and emotion is perceived through word choice.
Throughout my first year at IUP, I have learned the power of words and have learned to harvest that power in my writing in many genres. Because of Dr. Bizzaro and Dr. Powers, I have progressed and strengthened skills I didn’t know were weak, therefore improving my writing.