Writer-based prose verses reader-based prose

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The reader by Nelson, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License

This short handout from the Teaching Associates at Sacremento State University gives a brief overview about what makes reader-based prose different to writer-based prose.

Writer-based prose is often what you will first produce and it is a really great way to start. Your writing is for yourself as you are actually learning new stuff and figuring out what you conclude. You get this all down and it is your first draft. Great! But it will likely be very hard for anyone else to read. That’s not a criticism, it just stems from the difference between writer-based prose and reader-based prose. Most people cannot write reader-based prose on their first draft, so don’t be surprised if you can’t either. Take a look at this handout to see what you will be aiming for as you redraft that first go.

Writer versus Reader-Based Prose
Teaching Associates at Sacremento State University
http://www.csus.edu/englishta/TA/InClassActivities/writer%20vs%20reader%20based%20prose.doc

2 comments

  1. […] This piece caught my eye because Bob Fischer and Nathan Nobis have put a bit of a different spin on something I talk about quite a lot on this blog–the need for writers to consider their readers. Fischer and Nobis call their posting “Why writing will make you a better person” and it is a short piece worth having a look at. Their central point is that good writing requires you to treat people well by considering how your writing respects your reader. I would add that good writing also respects other writers–those whose conversation you are joining. Remember also that it is unlikely that your first drafts are suitable for readers. Most of us need to write a draft for ourselves first and then rewrite it for readers. See my previous posting for more about the difference between writer-based prose and reader-based prose. […]

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