Reinventing Invention: Discovery and Investment in Writing

I’m studying for my English class and need an explanation.

There are 2 parts to this discussion. The first relates to picking a topic to work with for the rest of the course. The second one relates to writing about the same event from 2 different perspectives.

Part 1 – Picking a Topic. One of the most important steps in writing is choosing a topic. Sometimes it’s easy to do and sometimes not. In this forum you will be a topic to pursue for the rest of the course. To get ready for that, read the article “Reinventing Invention: Discovery and Investment in Writing,” which is linked here.

The authors state that:

Writers invent texts the way engineers invent new gadgets. But invention in the rhetorical sense is about a lot more than just coming up with ideas. Invention is also a way to describe what happens when a writer searches for a topic, develops a specific idea about that topic, and then strategizes a plan for fitting that specific idea to the writing situation at hand. In other words, invention is about coming up with something shiny, new, and unique, but it is also about brainstorming, synthesizing, and learning. (Trim and Isaac 107)

The techniques set forth in the article provide good ways for you to get some ideas for the assignments you will be doing in this course, working by yourself or working with others (your friends, colleagues, etc.).

After you have tried some of these techniques, pick a topic that you would like to spend some time with. What topics are you finding as you review the research guide for your program? What topics have intrigued you in the past? What topic warrants further research for you? Describe your topic in a few sentences.

Part 2 – Describing Something from Two Perspectives. To continue working on writing as conversation, you can practice changing your rhetorical stance. This reading will help you: “Rhetoric and Genre: You’ve Got This! (Even if You Don’t Think You Do…). For the second half of your post, describe one incident or event from two perspectives. The event might be a confrontation between two employees in the break room. You could write it from these two perspectives:

  • You send your spouse an animated, upset text about what just happened, as you were very frightened by it.
  • You write a detailed report to give to the human resource director about the event, describing in careful detail exactly what you saw, without adding in any emotion or bias.

Think about the differences in word choice, sentence structure, emphasis, inclusions and omissions as you build these two descriptions.

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