Fun While Writing? By Rex Runciman

1001 words - 4 pages

Fun While Writing?
What about writing and the writing process makes it so disliked and, in some cases, even feared? “Fun?” by Lex Runciman, an English teacher at the Linfield College in Oregon, is an insightful article that explores why many people don’t enjoy writing. He is a very credible author because he has taught college English classes for many years and has written and published several books. His main claim throughout the article is that many people dislike writing and feel that it is frustrating because it is not perceived as or made out to be fun, enjoyable, or rewarding. Runciman wrote this article because, at the time, he felt that there was not enough being done to reverse the negative image that surrounds writing. He wants his readers to realize through his article that writing and the writing process can actually be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Runciman uses evidence, assumptions, and language and tone as a basis for his argument.
Many types of evidence are used throughout the article to support Runciman’s claim. The evidence used is of good quality because it consists of his personal experiences, fellow teachers’ writing, a school textbook, and even a Robert Frost poem. All of this evidence makes Runciman’s article credible because it comes from notable and well-known sources. For example, Runciman quotes The St. Martin’s Guide to Writing when backing up his claim that most people don’t like writing because it is not fun to them. He says: “[O]ne of our best textbooks emphasizes writing is “hard work,” that “sometimes the hardest part of writing is getting started,” and that “for most writers frustration in the early period of drafting is natural.” (158). He even states in his own words that “I was looking for some even oblique reference to writing and writing instruction as positive things, as activities yielding results other than difficulty, struggle, and frustration.” (156). These are just two examples of the myriad of sources Runciman said he looked through prior to writing the article. The most valuable source used throughout the whole argument is his personal experience because it shows the audience that he has firsthand experience and knowledge on the matter. All of the evidence used in the article is relevant and contributes greatly to support Runciman’s claim.
Runciman makes a few assumptions throughout his argument. One assumption he makes is that most people don’t like writing. This assumption is believable because it is universally thought that only few people enjoy English and the writing process. Another assumption is that teachers, students, or those in an academic setting would be reading his article. This is an accurate assumption because the article is published in a professional journal called “College English” by the National Council of Teachers of English. These assumptions both contribute to the tone and language used in the article. One last assumption Runciman made is...

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