Writing with Authority
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I think that writing is an essential skill for everyone. Although I am an international student, I like writing and continually try to improve my writing level. Creativity may be used as the foundation for presenting new ideas and reaching new conclusions. I understand that intellectual freedom is crucial for any research; however, as it is impossible to be an expert in all fields of knowledge, people have to rely on various authorities. At the same time, it is reasonable to pay additional attention to the evaluation of claims made by different authors and do not perceive them as absolute truths.
I often write research papers, thus, I have to present the main argument and find reliable evidences and sources that support them. However, I am not always able to critically evaluate the points of view of different scientists, as the majority of their reasoning seems to be entirely correct. Unfortunately, the essence of my position is largely dependent on the dominant position regarding a particular issue, as it is difficult for me to present an unpopular position in a persuasive way. Moreover, the formal structure of many papers does not allow expressing personal considerations and creates additional difficulties.
Therefore, I consider that Penrose and Geisler’s project is of utmost importance. Their article “Reading and Writing without Authority” presents several approaches to combining one’s point of view with the position of the established authorities (1994). My position is closer to Janet’s, as I prefer to describe relevant information in an objective way. I have problems with critical thinking and evaluation of other people; therefore, I often use Passive Voice in my papers. Penrose and Geisler outline some perspectives that may help to improve my writing skills. In particular, they stress that all texts are written by someone; thus, it is unreaonable to present their ideas as absolute truths. I typically feel that my position is like “outsider in the academic context” (Penrose and Geisler 507).
Authorities are distributed in the learning environments. Although their impact is significant, it is also important to investigate the logical reasoning that is presented by them. If some logical fallacies are determined, then it is possible to criticize some position and present the alternative option. However, even in those cases when no logical fallacies are observed, it is necessary to critically evaluate the structure of arguments. In particular, the author’s aims, methods, and materials should be assessed (Harris 19). All of them should correspond to one another, and a complete picture should be created. The majority of well-known scientists usually possess authority, while some young scientists and students cannot be considered as authoritative sources.
In order to establish authority, I usually pay attention to the recent publications of experts from this field. Authority is implicitly present in my papers; Janet’s style is closer to mine. I understand that the validity of my position should not be maintained by the number of sources I use; it should be often based on empirical evidences and the correct theoretical approach. I have similar problems to that of Janet’s. Although I can systematically present the ideas of other scientists, I do not always stress my independent perspective that may improve the quality of research. I should remember that all ideas are “negotiable” and not all of them are a priori correct. It may be reasonable to examine different positions and compare alternative views on the same issues.
I wrote a large number of assignments in the past. I compared the positions of different scientists and made some generalizations. My position was typically cclose to one of the authors as I could not develop an original and persuasive argument. At the same time, I have found a number of aspects that may constitute additional difficulties for writing. In some cases, authors may attribute different meanings to the same words that may lead to confusion. Thus, the researcher should understand the underlying ideas that are presented by different scientists. The names of authors may provide the basic foundation for organizing one’s knowledge (Penrose and Geisler 508). It is necessary to differentiate between objective knowledge and subjective interpretation by different people.
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I want to make a number of changes in my writing in relation to authority. I suggest that I should use authors’ names more often, and it is necessary to increase the internal consistency of my papers. On the one hand, it is important to present objective facts. On the other hand, their interpretation and claims by scientists should be examined in relation to the correct representation of reality, as well as the reliability of forecasting. Different knowledge claims may contradict one another, and it is necessary to specify the essence of the conflict. After the logical evaluation of all claims, it is possible to formulate objective and accurate recommendations.
All disagreements between two or more positions should not be merely reported; they should be compared and closely evaluated. The existing controversies may serve as the basis for developing one’s own perspective on the issue under consideration. It may integrate different points of view or constitute an independent approach. I suggest that I should introduce the principles of independent thinking in my writing more actively. I also should not claim that I agree or disagree with someone before the positions of all parties are adequately understood. This way, the quality of my writing may be significantly improved.
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