Everyone has different writing styles. It’s part of what makes the world such an interesting place. No two people tell the same story the same way which I think is important. The world would be boring if everyone had the same writing style.
My writing style is vignettes. I like fitting different vignettes together and creating a story or essay that way. It’s what I’ve found through trial and error and a lot of writing works best for me. This isn’t the writing style I’m always able to write in, but it’s my preferred style and the one I naturally gravitate towards.
I talk about this because I believe that each and every students has their own unique writing style. Unfortunately, the school environment doesn’t always allow for students to discover and explore this. Writing in middle school and high school often has a lot of rules and structure surrounding it. Students are expected to write in MLA format, to write 5 paragraph essays, to learn the rules, follow the rules, and never ever break the rules.
Don’t get me wrong. The rules which often surround writing are important. Knowing these rules is important. Following the rules is important.
But they aren’t the be all end all of writing, and sometimes I wonder if these rules stifle creativity. It can be really difficult to always follow the rules of writing and they don’t allow for a lot of creative freedom. They don’t allow students to develop their voice, and everyone should at least have the option to develop their voice. Maybe we as teachers need to look for a way to provide more creative opportunities.
It’s just something to think about. Academic writing is really important and lays a good foundation for all future writing. I just think it’s also really important to allow students some time for soul searching and discovery through writing.