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It does not present the latest findings of tests or experiments. Above all, it means that there must be a specific point that you are trying to establish - something that you are trying to convince the reader to accept - together with grounds or justification for its acceptance.
The efforts of governments to censor representational works also points to the power of such works.
The attempt by the Australian government, in 2001, to ensure that “there were no personalising or humanising images” of refugees is one such example.
That is because it is neither a research paper nor an exercise in literary self-expression.
It is not a report of what various scholars have had to say on a particular topic.
My concern is how we tell stories, and produce images, that contain a certain organic “truth” (that word very deliberately rendered in scare quotes, since it is yet another empty signifier), and that avoid didacticism.
Joan Didion begins her essay Why I Write by describing the art as one of Yes certainly; but continually “imposing oneself upon other people” can leave us looking rather like the monks in Monty Python and the Holy Grail: endlessly chanting the same phrase, endlessly hitting ourselves (and our readers) over the head.
And, Mr Wilde, what is the actual difference between “well written” and “badly written”?
Two concepts that are chained together in a dysfunctional marriage. How to write ethically while remaining true to the aesthetic imperative, the narrative trajectory, a reader’s requirements? In the field of education the answer is straightforward: to write ethically means avoiding plagiarism, and resisting the impulse to make up “facts”. Not all writers feel impelled to contribute knowledge.
Creative writers necessarily avoid plagiarism, but we necessarily make things up.
Good; bad: like “ethics”, these words are what scholars of semiotics call “empty signifiers”.