Case Study of Writer
The writer of choice is my friend. He is in high school, in his junior year. He is a competent writer with adequate literacy capability where he exhibits average spoken and written language skills. The writer currently hopes to pursue a career in Journalism. It is for this reason that he has been chosen for this study. He is especially interested in investigative journalism. In this regard, he is a member of the writing club and writes articles for the school magazine to improve his skills. The aim of the study is to find out the literacy levels of the writer, strengths and weaknesses this writer has by examining his work. The study if the writer is susceptible to some of the mistakes common with most writers. These include punctuation, spelling, veering off topic among other things.
The writer’s literacy skills are average. They are average because he has issues with spelling and punctuation making his work at times difficult to follow. However, after sorting through the problems, one of his greatest strengths is his ability to write in a manner that has the readers engrossed in an article while using few words yet being informative at the same time. He hopes to be an investigative journalist in the future and looking at his writing ability, he will be able to achieve this goal. What is intriguing about what he writes is how he perceives the world. His perception toward the world creates a sense of hope in the reader. No matter how grave the situation is, the written piece exudes an element of hope that all is well. However, this may be seen as an impediment to investigative journalism where the writer is expected to be objective in his work. In addition, he still needs to improve on his writing skills with regard to punctuation and use of compound words. Another problem observed was the fact that he was overly critical of his written works. This has made him to hide some of his works believing that they are not of good quality. These issues are common with most writers; however, realizing such issues creates the opportunity for improving.
Proofreading was therefore a major problem. For example, the writer would have omission of letters in certain words such as instead of writing “Thank”, he wrote “Than”. These omissions could be effectively handled by simply proofreading the work. Problems in punctuation include a sentence such as “What should they have done.”. In this sentence, the omission of the question mark is a grammatical error. Grammatical errors have the possibility of changing a sentence’s meaning. For example, the sentence “John, my brother was ill”. While the writer meant to say that his brother John was ill, an omission of a comma changed the meaning of the sentence. The sentence should have read, “John, my brother, was ill”. Therefore, proofreading is an important tool in skillful writing.
The various exchanges that we have had include interactive sessions where a piece of writing is discussed in an attempt to understand the motivations being each work and what the writer means to achieve. These exchanges have also been geared toward finding out the problems with his writing. In this regard, these exchanges aimed at improving his writing skills. Emphasis was put on how to develop a journalistic tone without affecting his ability to appeal to his readers. Again, the aim of these exchanges was to boost his confidence in his articles. It was found that he was afraid he did not write well. This came from the fact that he does not proofread his work. However, by reading his work, he was able to identify his mistakes and improved his writing very well.
The problem with being a teacher includes losing concentration during some of the exchanges. This was because it was difficult to help by being a teacher yet maintain a friendship. Detecting writing inadequacies was at times challenging especially since I was expected to help in improving his writing. However, this helped me be reacquainted with language use in speech and writing and this made it possible for me to make the right decisions with regard to what was expected. What was most surprising, was the fat that he was willing to learn from a fellow student believe that it would help since we were pears. Therefore, I learnt that a teacher and student relationship is important since this relationship either enables learning or becomes an impediment to the learning process. As a responder to writing, I learnt that while some may be gifted in the art of writing, it takes hard work and commitment on the part of the writer to be able to produce a memorable piece of writing.
The writer in the end was able to develop writing skills that would match his ambition of becoming an investigative journalist writing feature articles. The study reveals that good writing skills lie in ones ability to objectively criticize their own work and identify the flaws that could make an article appear better. Proofreading is a major part of this where one is able to identify the problems. However, proofreading may not be very effective unless one understands the rules that apply in the language of writing.