How the Rules of Grammar and Punctuation Can Kill a Writer’s Creativity

After years of schooling that have taught us time and again the proper way to write a formal paper, our creativity can easily be stifled by the complex technicalities of writing. We end up worrying too much about things like the mechanics, structure, and organization of our ideas rather than just outright writing what we want to say. And while there are many reasons why formality is necessary to most papers, it can hinder the writer’s main objective—to put on paper all the brilliant ideas floating around in her cranium. As a result, ideas are lost or forgotten because too much brainpower is spent struggling with the decision of whether a semi-colon or a dash best suits the combination of two ideas. I think that when writers sit down to start a paper, they become overwhelmed by these burdens of grammar, punctuation, structure, and organization, and immediately become stressed with the task of writing.

However, I believe that if the responsibilities of putting their thoughts onto paper and of applying proper writing techniques were two clear and separate tasks, writers would be able to take on the composition of a paper with much more confidence, and would be able to contribute more to the actual content. Vague meanings and lost trains of thought, which are frequently evident in papers because the writer is concentrating more on how to word it than on how to make sense of it, could be avoided. Ultimately, if students could see the clear distinction between their intimidation with the technical aspects and not the content, they would not be as hesitant when it comes to initiating the writing process.

-Shayna Pedersen

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About BentleyWritingCenter

This is the official blog of the Bentley University Writing Center staff.
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