When it comes to being literate, most people in our culture are. For years now our government has required children to attend school up to at least an eighth grade level. I think this is a great thing because in today’s society it would be impossible to function normally and obtain a career if someone were illiterate. Being able to simply read and write is so important to our society today. To me, being literate more so means to have a good interpretation of reading and writing. I believe you shouldn’t just be able to read and write but you should be able to read and interpret well and write in a way that clearly communicates and portrays an intended message. Good writing is so important in today’s society.
How does one describe good writing? There are many different forms of writing and every writer has their own individual style of writing. What I interpret as good writing is writing that can not only spark my interest, and hold my attention, but that can make me understand why and what the person is writing about. Along with this, good writing should paint a picture in the reader’s head of what they are reading on the page. One thing that I have always found in good writing is personalization. As a reader I don’t just want words on a page telling me about something, I want to be able to make some relation between the writing and the writer. One annoying thing that I have never found in good quality writing but that I notice in really bad writing is unnecessary repetition. I hate reading something once and then reading that exact same general idea explained in a different way a few lines later, it’s just fluff.
One element of good writing is good grammar. I myself am a bit of a grammar freak and hate it when people make common and very obvious grammar mistakes. Its one thing to personalize writing with intentional misuses of words, grammar or spelling, but besides that, people seriously need to review what they learned in their middle school language arts classes. I mean really, with the simple misuse of the words “their”, “there” or “they’re”… whoever is reading that completely loses context of the sentence or the subject of the sentence. If more people improved upon THEIR grammar, the world would be a better place. And learn how to use their turn signals… just saying.
When it comes to being literate and being a good writer, one has to have been taught well. A lot of times I find myself realizing that what I have been taught in high school about writing and what “good” writing actually is, is wrong. After reading “Teaching as Unteaching” it’s safe to say I more than agree with the fact that teachers end up “unteaching” first semester college students, most of what they learned about writing from high school. It is truly unfortunate that we are taught such things about writing in high school because I feel that for most, the reason people see writing as such a chore is because of the common misconception of the “right” way to write. Teachers in high school have a general curriculum and way they are supposed to teach writing based off of the standardized tests and writing exams given by the state. However, the way they teach us to write to prepare us for those tests and exams isn’t the way that writing is taught to prepare you for writing in the real world.