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To Write Or Not To Write...


Ancey
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Well, I'd been wracking my head over what to write for a college-level creative paper- the point of the paper is for us to have had an idea about something or someone and later find out you were misjudging/incorrect. And it has to be a pretty long paper, too, so over the past few days, while trying to figure out what to write, I find myself leaning towards describing parts of my de-conversion from Christianity. Really, it's a meaty subject I could easily spend pages describing (and probably only talk about one section of it and fill 5 or 6 pages), and I could easily make it rather sensitive and personal and downright honest, which is what the professor wants... BUT would it be appropriate for a college paper? Is it right for me to expose my de-conversion to my professor with no particular clue about how she would react to the paper? Not to mention it also has to be peer-reviewed by a few of my classmates, too. I'd also be hyper-critical of some aspect of religion, and that may offend my teacher at the same time...

 

So I'm at a loss. It's easily the subject I can discuss, otherwise, I'm still drawing a lot of blanks on what to write- perhaps about a friend I had in highschool and what I thought of her, but still, that feels like it could be more difficult to write honestly.

 

:shrug:

 

Gah, what a tough subject for a paper...

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In theory, what you write should be judged (i.e., graded) on how well you express yourself and your ideas. The subject should not matter other than to the extent you cover it well. But that's the theory and not necessarily the practice. If your professor and those others who read it are die-hard Christians, they may allow their prejudices against what you say to interfere with how they should judge your paper. Having said that, if you still want to write on the subject of deconversion, rather than making it a first person account, make it more of a third person account in which you describe in a more generic form what causes people to deconvert and how they and others react to it. Thus, the readers could not judge you personally for the ideas expressed and might be more prone to give your paper the more non-prejudiced reading it deserves.

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In theory, what you write should be judged (i.e., graded) on how well you express yourself and your ideas. The subject should not matter other than to the extent you cover it well. But that's the theory and not necessarily the practice. If your professor and those others who read it are die-hard Christians, they may allow their prejudices against what you say to interfere with how they should judge your paper. Having said that, if you still want to write on the subject of deconversion, rather than making it a first person account, make it more of a third person account in which you describe in a more generic form what causes people to deconvert and how they and others react to it. Thus, the readers could not judge you personally for the ideas expressed and might be more prone to give your paper the more non-prejudiced reading it deserves.

 

The only issue is that this is meant to be a first person account on an event specific to yourself.

 

Technically, yes, there should be no judgement about my personal beliefs but rather the content and argument of my paper. And if they do judge me badly in terms of grades based on their personal bias, I can always bring that up as discrimination against my belief system, and considering I'm going to a liberal public school, that'd be hunky-dory... I also do think that there may be a person or two that may write about their conversion to religion- it's completely possible, but perhaps if it wasn't being peer reviewed by a few of my classmates I would be less hesitant to write it.

 

Meh, I got a few days for figure it out- I need a draft by Thursday, and I still haven't started...

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If you want to write the paper on this topic, then be careful not to write in a judgmental fashion. Make it clear that it was your experience and don't say anything which makes it sound like those who still believe in Christianity are somehow inferior to you. You know what I mean, don't say they are ignorant or stupid or words that may be interpreted that way. Just make it as your experience, giving both your reasons and how you and others around you reacted to your decision to leave Christianity behind. For example, if it was tough on you explain that. If it was tough on your family, explain that.

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If you want to write the paper on this topic, then be careful not to write in a judgmental fashion. Make it clear that it was your experience and don't say anything which makes it sound like those who still believe in Christianity are somehow inferior to you. You know what I mean, don't say they are ignorant or stupid or words that may be interpreted that way. Just make it as your experience, giving both your reasons and how you and others around you reacted to your decision to leave Christianity behind. For example, if it was tough on you explain that. If it was tough on your family, explain that.

 

Well, no, I certainly am not looking to try and insult or be incredibly judgemental of Christianity or insult others- but just even writing the paper, some people get oversensitive to any thought of rejection of their beleifs.

 

The only issue is I have to very descriptive of people, places, times, etc. So it can't be an overtly general paper. But I could make it work by picking a particular piece of my de-conversion and talking about that part of it. But really, the most important of my de-conversion, which would be perhaps the easiest yet most controversial thing to write, would be my perception of the bible.

 

That could be difficult right there.

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Yes, that could be difficult. My best guess is that in writing about your perception of the bible, which I would think is that it is not the all true word of a living god, your readers could become offended. The only question is whether that personal/religious offense will have an impact on your grade. I don't know your professors and I don't know your fellow students who will be reading this paper so I can't offer you an opinion on that. My advice is that if you are determined to write on this subject, do a really good job and force them to give you a good grade on the merits of what you write. Don't give them an excuse for grading it lower. So make it really well done and think it through carefully before you put pen to paper. And once you have a draft written, then read it again carefully and make any changes you need to improve it. Repeat this until you are satisfied that it is the best it can be.

 

Best of luck. I'll bet you really can write an "A" paper on this topic.

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Sometimes, when doing a writing assignment, you just have to take a chance. I know I do my best writing when I feel strongly about the topic I'm writing about. There's a good chance that you simply will not write a better paper on any other subject if you feel so strongly about this subject. In English Comp I, after writing a paper, we each had to tell the class what our paper was about without looking at it. I wrote a very political paper about government's role, part of which advocated legalization of pot. One of my fellow students had an angry, appalled look on her face as I gave my presentation. I was damn nervous just being up there, but I got over it. I think my professor thought I was nuts, but I got an A because the paper was well written.

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My experience with college is profs judge your work based on it's quality, not based on value judgments. I think it's a great topic to write on given the assignment. If you can write about something you feel passionate about, it's bound to come across in your work and help you out. I don't know why this would be an inappropriate topic. Especially if you can discuss how education and exposure to facts changed your view points.

 

I still remember one of the greatest praises I received from an English prof came when I discussed the impact education had on my perspectives. I remarked that before college I was filled with questions that I couldn't frame. College, while not answering all my questions, helped me articulate them.

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Sometimes, when doing a writing assignment, you just have to take a chance. I know I do my best writing when I feel strongly about the topic I'm writing about.

 

 

+1

 

 

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