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Greyson Wilson

Mrs. Thomas
UWRT 1102-017
9/16/15
Prompt: According to Emig, how is writing different from reading, listening, or talking? (p. 7)
Of the differences between talking and writing she enumerates on p. 7-8, which resonate with
you? Why? What do the "three ways of dealing with actuality" have to do with learning and
writing? What quotes and ideas stand out to you? How do you relate to the ideas as a
writer/learner?
The Uniquity of Writing
Before reading this article, I had really never thought about the different forms of
composing. The forms being writing, obviously, mathematical formulation, and scientific
formulation. I found that idea to be really interesting, but in my (uneducated) opinion writing
seems like an outlier in that group because there is usually an objective correctness that comes
with properly performed mathematics or science, but writing is mostly a subjective medium.
According to Emig, to put it simply, the main difference between writing and reading,
listening, and talking is that reading and writing, unlike talking and listening, take no formal or
systematic instruction. Listening and talking are both natural behaviors which Emig at one point
described as irrepressible behavior. What differentiates the second order processes of
reading and writing is that writing is originating and creating a unique verbal construct that is

verbally recorded whereas reading is simply creating or re-creating but not originating a verbal
construct.
One of her eleven points that strikes a chord with me the most is her fifth point that
Writing is stark, barren vet naked as a medium; talking is rich, luxuriant, inherently redundant.
The reason that is, is because it does a good job of explaining something which I have thought
for a long time but have not been able to resolve on my own. Writing can often seem cold, and
disconnected. It lacks so much of the character that spoken words have. This is the reason things
such as sarcasm are so often misunderstood through text.
I have to strongly agree with Emig that writing is a great way to learn because it involves
enactive, iconic, and symbolic learning, which helps to retain information much better than just
using one or two out of the set. Writing has certainly helped me to retain information because it
forces me to think about what I am writing, and the act of writing itself can help me recall
information by thinking about what else was going on at the time of my writing.
Just to end things off, I think it is kind of ironic how many points within this article that I
was not able to understand and learn simply because of the insane amount of seemingly
unnecessary top tier vocabulary that is used in almost every sentence, or at least several times in
every paragraph.