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Group Member Names:

Elizabeth Moreno
Week/Date: Week 6/ Oct 5
Course/Section Number:
STUDY GUIDE FOR : Writing to change the world
Part 1: SUMMARY
In Writing to Change the World, Mary Pipher introduces the idea that in the
modern world we are faced with problems from all over the world but since we are not
always near the issue it's harder for us to help. She also adds that our beautiful
democracy is disintegrating over time because of worldly issues such as injustice and
unequalness. Now, we tend to focus on what we find more stylish than what is really
important such as our environment and health. We can use our writing and voice to
connect and inspire but some people use it to cause harm for example by calling people
names intended to dehumanize. People who are writing to connect write passionate and
well articulated ideas that can change the world. Some writers have even been killed for
writing because the effects of the ruler were so disastrous. Stories have even been
used as folk tales and myths in order to entertain and give life lessons. In this age of
style and fame we tend to detach ourselves from subjects that are not as interesting yet
very important. Some stories have also been created to heal and give hope like Anne
Frank and her diary. She still found the beauty in the harsh world she was living in. If
you want to effect change you don't need to use literature. Your voice can we expressed
in different forms. Some use art and music to share their passions and ideas.

Part 2: OUTLINE
I.

II.

III.

Facing modern problems


A. We can't help everyone
B. Senses are amplified
C. Receive detailed information.
1. Starving children
2. AIDS
3. collapsing buildings
Democracy is eroding
A. Torturing
B. Not being equal
C. Exploited Science
Age of Information.
A. lacking direction

B. Style trumps substance


1. obscuring the truth
C. Lack of thinking
D. Environmental devastation
IV. Weaponized Language
A. objectifying/depersonalizing people
1. illegal aliens
V. Rehumanizing
A. With connection comes responsibility.
1. become aware that we can hurt
a) labeling
b) ignoring humanity
c) stereotyping
VI. Writing for Change
A. Writing to make connections
B. promoting social and economic justice.
1. telling the truth
2. public discussion
C. Sharing ideas
1. changing with ideas.
a) risking lives to tell the truth
(1) Anne Frank
(2) Osip Mandelstam
(3) Boris Pasternak
D. joining a community
E. Stories used to give lessons
1. folktales
2. myths
VII.
Writing needed
A. teaching through writing
B. inspiring hope
C. powerful writing
1. writing designed to change the world
VIII.
Presentation
A. influential writing
B. art
C. music
D. popaganda
IX. Discouragement
A. thinking is silencing writers
B. why bother
Part 3: Key Terminology with definitions
1. Salient: most important
2. Eroding: gradually wear away
3. Conceptualized: form an idea

4. Curtailment: restricting something


5. Dissidents: person who opposes policy

Part 4: Discussion Questions


1. We can see change through the writing from popular and recognized
writers but can anyones ideas have such an effect?
2. What if someone doesn't know how to write or explain well? does it
automatically mean they can't write for change
3. If writing has such a positive impact in the world why isn't it being as
important or recognized?
Part 6: External Sources
Harmon, Justin. How Writing can Change the World. writetodone.com. 2 Oct. 2012.
Web. 5 Oct. 2015.
In his article, Harmon explained how writing can be fun and easy as long as you write
about something you are passionate about. The same rules apply for reading. If you
read about something you like, you are more likely to enjoy it.

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