How Do Writers Write?

I have two very different questions to ask in this post. One asks you to consider the responsibilities of a good writer. And the other develops Haidt’s ideas for a cultural critique. Please feel free to respond to one or both.
In my previous post, I asked you to think about Haidt’s intended readers and to reflect on yourselves as readers of this particular text. Your responses ranged from relatability to appreciating his ideas to critiquing his approach. Certainly, some of the concerns about the book being scattered also has to do with being able to process and synthesize a large amount of information about a topic that you are not very familiar with. Believe me, I had to re-read certain sections because I am not familiar with social sciences either. But as students about to go to college, being able to read and understand texts from different disciplines is necessary for your development as a scholar. Moreover, I would recommend looking at an earlier blog post about organization of the book where your peers are discussing how Haidt structures his argument.
I will pick on some points from what you said earlier though to start a discussion about writing. You will be expected to write in college and you will have to think about how to convince and persuade your readers about what you are saying. You will have to figure out your audience, figure out a way to make your ideas relatable and persuasive to them, and you will have to be very aware of your own biases as well.

Would you, in your writing, be like the elephant and find reasons to support what you believe? And if you do so, do you think you will be able to convince your reader?
Or will you take a step back and think about what you are doing and then analyze your own biases?
Some of you commented on Haidt making clear what his biases are. That is indeed one of the ways to get your readers to trust you. If, however, the author is not aware of his/her own biases and the reader is able to see through them, then that writer loses credibility. For example, as a reader, I quickly lose faith in a writer that is not self-aware about his or her own partialities.
On page 81, Haidt makes a distinction between two kinds of responses based on an experiment done by Paxton and Greene: one that is immediate and the other where the subjects were made to wait a few minutes before they could respond. He uses the metaphor of the elephant and the rider here to say that in those few minutes the rider (that is, reasoning), gained the upper hand. The rider got the time to think about the supporting arguments and then develops the judgment in this case. The judgment gets altered as a result of that thinking. So what kind of a writer are you?
Would you just let your point remain at the level of opinion (I like this; I didn’t like this)
Would you provide evidence but after having made up your mind already?
Or would you use the evidence to rationally figure out situations and then develop your point?
For example, how are you responding to this post? What approach are you taking?
Secondly, will your answer change depending on the kind of writing you have to do – is it a diary entry or a Facebook post or a paper for a class?

Secondly (and this is connected to thinking about your readers/audiences), Haidt mentions the taste receptors. Instead of politics and voters though, I would like to insert writing and readers. A good piece of writing should be able to appeal to all the taste receptors of the readers in order to be successful. What qualities do you think such writing might have to appeal and to persuade your readers to give you your vote (as in to believe you and your ideas)?

On another note, I would like to raise another question that seems to be relevant even though it goes beyond what Haidt is discussing in his book
Haidt argues that conservatives appeal to a larger base of people than liberals
And he presents two kinds of bumper stickers to prove how the conservatives are able to appeal to all the taste receptors as opposed to the liberals who are perhaps only able to appeal to two. He gives multiple examples and one of those is bumper stickers by liberals and conservatives.
The liberal sticker says things like: “Save Darfur” and “Stop Genocide”
The conservative one says: “Support Our Wounded”
Both are examples of “Care.” Haidt uses this to argue that conservative caring is more local, and blended with loyalty (158-159). My question is loyalty to whom…??? Both seem to be loyal to me.

Secondly, it seems to me that the local-ness of the conservative caring is actually at the national level (which I believe is too huge to be considered local).

The two bumper stickers are saying something completely different. The Darfur one clearly encourages the reader to connect with the people who are being victimized. It seeks to make people think beyond the self and an idea of the nation to empathize at a human level.
The conservative one also asks to empathize but with “our wounded.” The “our” here clearly indicates Americans.

Then later on, in the chapter, “Why Are We So Groupish,” he uses the example of the American flag to talk about a sense of loyalty and indeed a sense of self which is connected with the nation.
So here I want to use Haidt’s ideas to go beyond and to discuss the ramifications of both kinds of appeals made by the two parties. He uses the example of 9/11 to talk about it and that is what made me think about how complicated the mobilization of nation was in its aftermath. So my question is if it is worth it to try and appeal to these senses if they include constructions that might be problematic.
For example, the idea of the nation can be so problematic because, while it does many good things, it can also disallow a human empathetic connection with those who are considered as competition.
Connected with this sense of national loyalty can also be hatred of others who don’t look American (read: brown and most people of color in the immediate post 9/11 US). The media played a huge role in this paranoia building as well.
Suheir Hammad’s Def jam poetry was a response to the atrocities inflicted on many Americans that were brown ( Please hear the entire thing if you are listening to it.

This is just one example – the conversation that I want to have is NOT about 9/11 but about constructions of self in terms of nationality, class, or race, etc.
We can apply a similar sense of loyalty to a lot of other things. Again, Haidt uses the example of distribution of wealth. In sticking with the self (to the exploitation of others not as privileged in terms of class), the conservatives appeal to morals about everyone earning what they are due. It creates a world view where the poor deserve to be poor and where the poor are considered as not hard-working and allows for the rich to not feel any guilt (never mind that a factory laborer labors way more than a capitalist who probably got access to education and wealth that allowed for his or her advancement and riches).
This is not to say that there aren’t people who don’t resist this kind of thinking or raise questions about unfair treatments. They clearly do as is evident by the Occupy movement, by Suheir Hammad’s poetry, as well as by all the protests in the Ferguson case. And these are just a few examples. It will also be very wrong to think that these problems are particular to the US. They exist in a very similar way in most countries.
The question, however, is about how the taste receptors might themselves need to be questioned. In fact, these receptors differ across the various lines of region (state to state), class, race, etc.
So how does one go ahead – if the party needs to appeal to all the receptors of their voters, then how does it go against its own principles if they refuse some of the problematic local alliances that are needed? This is indeed a paradox.
For this second post, please go ahead if you have similar responses where you use Haidt to interrogate some social issues if not this one.

47 thoughts on “How Do Writers Write?

  1. Patrick Aucoin says:

    In order to be a good writer, you must have the emotional passion, but you also must not let go of the ability to rationalize. Writers create their works because they are passionate about the topic they are focusing on in their work, which gives the work potential to create a persuasive argument. The people who read, however; may not have the same passion, or be on the other side of the argument, for that topic. If the readers don’t have the same passion or perspective, the writer must use rational evidence and analysis that relates to the topic in order to properly persuade the readers. Without the passion, however; the writer may not attempt to create their work with great effort, and the work as a whole fails to persuade properly. The most important ability of great writers is the ability to balance rationality and passion. By achieving the perfect balance, the perfect argument can be created.

  2. Justin Rizzo says:

    For one to be a good writer, that person has to have the ability to stimulate the brain of the reader. By stimulate, I mean that the writer has to essentially make the work captivate the reader, or paint a mental picture if you will. By captivating the reader, the writer is then able to make a convincing argument or tell a fantastic story. Of course, passion, creativity, language, and a good thought process all play roles in being a good writer, but if a writer fails to captivate the reader, then all the writer is left with is a pile of words that nobody wants to read.

    • Beanca Saint Elien says:

      I agree, but also the writer has to be willing to think outside the box and have a very convincing topic, theme or story to grab the readers attention.

    • Trifila says:

      I completely agree with your post. If the writer does not attract the reader into his work then there is no point in his writing.I feel like good writers should have the ability to write something that is interesting and capable of stimulating the readers brain because if not like you explained the writer is left with a pointless pile of words.

  3. apexlion says:

    I’m going to post this here because I couldn’t really find a better place for it.

    I was thinking about Haidt’s audience and who this book was originally meant to be to. Clearly now it is being used in many ways he had never expected, such as a summer reading project. His highly elevated speech and structuring of the book seems to indicate that it was meant for his colleges and highly educated people who will understand and want to read this about this topic. They however would most likely have a bit of knowledge on the topic and it would be useless for Haidt to use so much history. He could be just trying to create a more complete book. But seeing as educated Haidt is I’m sure he did this to appeal to a larger audience. The way he stays neutral throughout the book is also an indicator. It would have been easy for him to write only to highly educated people. But in thinking about his purpose of the book, to inform people about the way the mind and morals works, I believe that his intended audience was the general population.

  4. Matthew Duncan says:

    I’m going to post this here because I couldn’t really find a better place for it.

    I was thinking about Haidt’s audience and who this book was originally meant to be to. Clearly now it is being used in many ways he had never expected, such as a summer reading project. His highly elevated speech and structuring of the book seems to indicate that it was meant for his colleges and highly educated people who will understand and want to read this about this topic. They however would most likely have a bit of knowledge on the topic and it would be useless for Haidt to use so much history. He could be just trying to create a more complete book. But seeing as educated Haidt is I’m sure he did this to appeal to a larger audience. The way he stays neutral throughout the book is also an indicator. It would have been easy for him to write only to highly educated people. But in thinking about his purpose of the book, to inform people about the way the mind and morals works, I believe that his intended audience was the general population.

  5. It honestly does depend on what I am writing. This blog is a great writing style for me as it gives me the freedom to express my opinions on a matter without having a restraint of structure. I can write one paragraph or several. It then influences a more natural communication with a reader. When someone is trying to convince the other, they do not automatically give an introduction, rather they just delve right in. I prefer a free flowing type of writing. In my last comment I wrote, I tried to say my opinion of the book in a polite way as not to shun other opinions. I was not trying to sway a reader from his/her opinion. Rather, I try to think before I write something as it shows my true opinion on the subject that I am writing on. I know if I just instantly write my thoughts, it can be perceived differently to the reader than what I intended its purpose to be. I would be letting the metaphorical “elephant” write for me. I want to have the “rider” convey the response to the reader not the “elephant”. As I read your post, I do agree that the “Elephant” will take over if I am writing a long and tedious essay.

  6. Good writers have to be able to capture their audience and maintain their interest from start to finish. I also think in order for a writer to be effective they must identify their audience and make sure they are writing in a way that the intended audience will understand. Good writers usually use evidence to support their ideas. I like how Haidt cites different studies that have been conducted as evidence to support his claims throughout the book, I think this skill is necessary in order to be a good writer because people will be more willing to believe or at least listen to your ideas if you have something to back them up with.

    • After reading the book I see now how much factual evidence lied inside the book. The amount of statistics and studies he references makes the book easier to read. Putting that information makes the reader relate to the story better. When I read a book I like to keep my interest on it. A bored reader is not retaining the same amount of information.

    • Eugenia says:

      I agree with Haidt’s use of evidence from other works. It makes it easier to be persuaded when someone (i.e a writer) uses solid evidence and is able to back it up.

  7. Adam Lareau says:

    A solid writer needs to be able to grab the readers interest from the first time the reader opens up the cover of the book. This is easier said than done, because not everyone enjoys reading. The author must try to paint a mental picture using his or her words, good authors also try and find a subject in which the entire audience can relate to. Haidt takes a dull topic such as how the mind and morality really works,but he explains himself in ways where his entire audience can understand where he is coming from and what he is trying to prove. Also, Haidt has to keep his readers occupied completely for over 400 pages. Just trying to write a 5 page short story for high school is hard enough. Throughout the book Haidt is never hesitant to give his opinion or judgment on a matter but he rarely took sides, he composes his own thoughts and ideas based upon knowledge from peers and research he did himself. I liked how Haidt broke down the book into parts, it makes things easier to follow and it allows the reader to stay focused on one singular topic instead of the author throwing all his ideas at you at once.

    • Sagar says:

      I can agree to what you said and Haidt does write in such a way that his audience can easily navigate through the book. The way he uses unlikely metaphors and how they compare to one’s personal life is amazing. Haidt also never takes any particular side but describes their perspectives with great detail so we, the audience, can familiarize ourselves with what he is trying to say.

  8. Luz Pimentel says:

    I believe that to be a good writer you must obtain the knowledge of knowing how to persuade your audience. You need to know how to persuade the reader into agreeing with your argument or at least seeing your point of view. Good ways of displaying a good argument is by using rhetorical techniques. For example, one rhetorical technique is anecdotes. By telling the reader some anecdotes that will defend your argument, the reader will understand it more. You will also be keeping the reader interested by telling him stories in which he understand you better.

  9. Mary Pieroni says:

    Personally, I do not think that there can be a “bad” writer. Every writer is a good writer, just sometimes their topics don’t appeal to all of the readers. I think that there is always a point for a book, or newspaper, or journal to be written. Why would an author become an author if he or she wasn’t passionate about their work? I feel like it is very hard to completely cut out your own bias while writing a piece. Books are allowed to show what author thinks and people are allowed to agree or disagree with it. That makes for a perfect discussion. I don’t think that a person can please everybody so that’s no exception for writers. A good writer has to believe in what they are writing about and be open to the opinions of other people. That makes a good writer.

    • Jenna Morton says:

      I agree that there is no such thing as a bad writer. If you disagree with an author’s viewpoint, you could consider them a “bad” writer. If you support an author’s viewpoint, you could consider them a great writer. This brings us back to your personal bias; it is extremely difficult to cut out your own values and truly play the devil’s advocate all the time. Usually your own personal bias can unknowingly sneak into whatever you may be writing. I thought that Haidt did a good job at cutting out his personal opinions as much as possible from his novel.

  10. Engaging the reader is the most important thing that writer should think of.
    The most important thing to do is to believe in what you write. Everyone can tell when someone is writing about something for which they don’t feel any passion.

    What is even more real, however, is adding a personal touch.

    Making yourself vulnerable as a writer is a key to being a successful writer. Share your own story – nobody else can tell it. Writer should be flexible about sharing some details. It do not have to be a life story. In order to get people to listen – writer should just share some information that is interesting and revolves around a certain topic and makes reader attractive to this story.

    As a reader, I couldn’t stop myself from reading every chapter in Haidt’s book. Even though I don’t like these kinds of books and topics the story Haidt told us engaged me to read it.

  11. Matthew Phou says:

    I believe that the responsibility of good writers is to write a book, an essay, or an entry that means something to them because it is easier to convey their emotion since they are passionate about what they are saying. I do not consider myself as a “good writer” but I believe that I am decent enough thanks to my english teachers. Every time I had to do an essay for english such as a personal narrative, persuasive essay, or a descriptive essay, I brainstorm ideas for what I want to write. Considering the rider and elephant metaphor I learned in the book, my elephant easily leaned to the first topic that I wanted to talk about and I really thought it was a good idea. But when I went over the idea I reasoned that there was really nothing much for me to talk about and scraped the idea. However, once I found a topic that I have a lot to talk about, it was easy to write and I was able to convey all of my ideas and write it in a way that sounds like me. It would convey some of my personality and my words of telling it which is something many writers, in my opinion, should strive for; to write something meaningful for them.

  12. Aaron Jesus says:

    Personally before I begin writing about a topic I take a while to really think about what I am about to write. Even for this post I’ve read through the original comment a few times and read through some of the other comments to get a better understanding of what I want to write. For me I take the time for the rider to choose a direction, then from there the elephant does the rest of the work. Before I make any claims I really like to spectate first and develop my opinion more carefully on a topic so I can try to really understand what is going on. I prefer to “use the evidence to rationally figure out situations then develop…” my own point

  13. Judging if a person is good writer or not has never seemed to be a question of whether I agree with what the person is arguing or not but if they keep me interested enough to read on. I took a philosophy class last year where we read countless excerpts from various philosophers on the topic of morality and its place in society. Those readings made me dread reading this book, until I got started. While it isn’t an all time favorite of mine I can appreciate how Haidt was able to keep me intrigued in a subject that I previously hated. His ability to make me think passed my own seemingly concrete beliefs to open the possibility that my way isn’t the only way. Showing an understanding of people with set views while still giving the reader a nudge toward stepping outside they’re comfort zone is impressive. As many have said engaging the reader is the most important thing when trying to keep people reading your work and Haidt shined a new light on the subject of morality for me which is why I enjoyed this book much more than I had anticipated.

  14. cody hidAlgo says:

    I believe that the biggest responsibility of a wrirer is to be legible.
    Even the worst writing ever created should still give the reader a leason, something to glean from the experience. It shows what not to do, it can spark conversation, things that the reader can benefit from. But if your writting can’t portray a message or story, then you have wasted the time of the reader. This is the worst thing an entertainer, let alone a writer can do.
    Stories that are described as excellent or even just good have succeeded in their purpose: to give the reader something. Nothing specidic but something to talk about or to psss on or even to dream. This is what writing should do. And Haidt delivers on this in spades.
    every sentence every paragraph gave me something to think about and sometimes even question. I understood it and learned from it and talked about it. It fulfilled its duty of giving me something.

  15. Ayanna Scott says:

    A good writer has to capture the audience attention with imagery, emotion, and something that the reader can connect to. If the writer cannot connect with the reader there is no point in writing it. There needs to be a clear point so the reader can follow.

    • Nick Estrela says:

      I agree because if a writer fails to capture the attention of the reader, then the reader starts to just see each individual word and not connect them to the full context. This disconnects the reader from what they’re reading, which in return leaves the reader with little to none to take away from what they have written.

  16. Ayanna Scott says:

    I also think that the author Jonathan Haidt changed his mind continuously through out the book, especially when he mention other psychologist different perspectives on morality.

  17. nick cadmus says:

    what makes a good writer is passion and truth. Anyone can research a topic and write a dry bland report on what they learned, but it takes an investment into your subject to truly engage the reader. A good writer doesn’t just put words on paper for their reader; they put their innermost feelings and self out there for the readers to become a part of. it takes more than passion and heart to be a good writer though. a good piece of writing must be grounded reality too. they must form their opinions based on facts not their facts based on opinions. good writing is a recipe; it takes equal parts passion and truth, with a dash of fun along the way.

  18. I feel like there is such a thing as a “bad” writer, I disagree with Mary Pieroni on this one, because a bad writer is someone who doesn’t have the qualities that captivate a reader. I feel like the only way to be a good writer is to know your audience and make sure that through your words, theories, stories, etc they can form an opinion and feel some emotion. That’s the way I read a book, and that’s definitely my mindset when I am writing anything especially poetry (though this doesn’t relate to Haidt genre of writing). I agree with Mary on the point she made that a writer cannot please everyone, and that is true! Being an author isn’t about pleasing everyone but it is about making sure your book sells and gets to where you want it to be. Especially as I want to become a writer in the future I try to balance the scales of what I like to write and what I know the reader would want to read. So to be a writer involves just being passionate and making sure you deviate too much from the status-quo per say, just make sure you find a middle ground.

  19. All of you have brought up so many interesting points in terms of your own writing processes. Some of you talk about the need to make your work relevant to your readers, others talk about making it exciting, or about having reason and rationality to persuade the reader, and some of you are already differentiating between writing differently for different kinds of genres. For example, Nathan talks about the difference between writing for this blog as opposed to say an academic essay. The writer feels more free here and does not have to worry about adhering to the genre expectations of the essay, which asks for things like an introduction. This is so important because when readers approach your work (be it this blog or your academic essay), they are also already expecting a certain format from the genre in which you are writing. For instance, when I read an essay, I always read the introduction very carefully because I expect the introduction to give me the thesis and purpose of the writer as well as a map of the organizing argument. That will help me understand and follow the rest of the paper really well. If the introduction does not do that successfully, I already begin to feel frustrated. But as a reader for this blog post, my expectations are different.

    Now to get back to a point I raised earlier. Nathan brings up an interesting point by comparing the academic essay to the elephant:
    “I know if I just instantly write my thoughts, it can be perceived differently to the reader than what I intended its purpose to be. I would be letting the metaphorical “elephant” write for me. I want to have the “rider” convey the response to the reader not the “elephant”. As I read your post, I do agree that the “Elephant” will take over if I am writing a long and tedious essay.”
    In order to persuade their audience, writers do need to let the riders be in control. So what do we say about the elephant taking over. This is a bigger issue than just writing something that is long and boring. A first draft may necessarily have to be with how a writer feels and might need to get his/her ideas on paper before they can be revised into a persuasive argument. So do you think first drafts are primarily elephant-driven and revised drafts where the rider gets involved? The gap between the two drafts would perhaps allow for reasoned judgment to come in, where a writer might be able to see and fix the biases in the argument, provide evidence for claims in order to persuade the reader, etc. What do you think?

  20. Cassidy says:

    I believe that in writing you need to be both the “elephant” and analytical in both powering through and convincing your reader as well as analyzing both sides of the argument and learning how you can convince the reader.

  21. Alix Blair says:

    In order to be a good writer, you need to appeal to a certain audience and grab the reader’s attention. You have to stay unbiased when writing about such a sensitive topic and Haidt went about his work in a confrontational but professional way. It is best to show all sides to an argument and let the reader come to his or her own conclusions.

  22. Allison Proto says:

    I was personally intrigued by how Haidt chose how to write the book. Though it was confusing at times when he would mention the different psychological opinions of others, he maintained is own opinion thought the book. However, he did not captivate the audience in a way that would be “preferred” by most students, meaning he didn’t make any thing interesting, or make me want to continue to read.

  23. Chelsea Fontaine says:

    I believe to be a good write you need to keep people guessing. You must be able to lure the reader in within the first few sentences, but you also need to keep their attention throughout. Make them think. Also, I believe you need to be patient, the first draft or “rough copy” is only the beginning. You need to take the time to reread over and over again until it’s basically memorized word for word and sounds perfect to you, then have someone who’s honest read it and have them edit it. You need to be able to accept constructive criticism to be able to better yourself.

  24. Shayne Furtado says:

    The essence of being a good writer is similar to that of a good public speaker. A good writer must acknowledge the audience that he/she is working with and use appropriate appeal to communicate effectively. Additionally, a good writer must be able to keep the reader’s attention despite how dry the material might be. Much like a public speaker uses dramatic pauses and body language or shifts in tone to keep the audience’s focus, a reader must capture the reader’s focus in his/her rhetoric.

  25. Pamela Urena says:

    I believe a good writer should connect with the read in order for the reader to understand what they are reading. If the writer is a good writer it would be easier for the reader to understand the writers point in the book, article, etc. Just like GOHARSIDDIQUI I had to re-read some parts in the book to understand it, but for the most part i connected with the imagery and emotion Haidt used in “The Righteous Mind.”

  26. I think in order to be an effective writer, it’s extremely important to be able to properly convey all of the intended ideas onto paper. Misinterpretation is not a good aspect for a piece of literature. However, if a work can be interpreted in multiple ways, and each are correct interpretations, the writer is definitely proficient in his/her work. I think being able to spark new ways of thinking is also very important for pieces.

  27. Kyle Sargent says:

    In order to be a writer that is worthy of anyone’s attention, one must seek to draw the reader in through many thought-out tactics. For instance, a writer will have more luck drawing a reader in if their text contains many visualizations that will stimulate minds. The writer also has to be able to get on the same level as the intended audience. This means that if a writer of children’s books tries to write an adult novel using the same ideas and techniques, then they will be an unsuccessful writer. They have to be passionate about their work and devout everything they’ve got into it.

  28. Allison Burke says:

    In order to be a writer, I believe you need to be open to anyone’s opinions, whether you respect them or not. They should be open to their audience’s ideas and be able to support any arguments that are stirred up about the book. When given a topic, such as something as broad as the topics discussed in The Righteous Mind, they should handle it maturely and be unbiased.

  29. Hayley D'Auteuil says:

    Like readers of the book, Haidt, as well as other writers have to be open minded. Writers have to understand that they are writing to a general audience, and they want the book to appeal to as many people as possible. Although when writing a book like The Righteous Mind it can be difficult to be open to various different opinions, but it is necessary to make the book to the point. There were various techniques used in this novel to make it understandable from various perspectives.

  30. Vanessa Martins says:

    For someone to be a good writer they need to be able to create a connection with their reader. Many writers use personal experiences and events in their own lives to catch the readers attention to see if the reader can relate to them. Depending on the writers topic, for example if it’s a topic that is opinionated, a good writer who is trying to persuade their reader into agreeing with them needs to support their personal opinions with evidence and reasons why.

  31. Jacob Adriano says:

    From my own perspective, a good writer is not only able to persuade readers but also makes the readers want to take his/her opinion and compare it to there own. A good writer will try and keep the readers open minded about whatever subject it may be will still stating there opinion without using any bias.

  32. Derek Sargent says:

    To be a good writer one needs to pull the reader into the book. I believe to create a quality piece of literature, one has to draw the reader in deeply right from the first page. Making connections to the real world and possibly the reader is a good tactic to hold that attention. Spontaneity is also great for the same reason.

  33. Keturah Brewster says:

    In my opinion, I feel as though in order to persuade someone through your reading one needs to present facts and evidence (even if it’s biased) to make your argument look credible. I read somewhere once that when trying to convince anybody anything, it’s ninety percent confidence and ten percent presentation. That goes a long way for writing as well.

  34. Nicanor Sanderson says:

    To be a good writer one must give a story or idea a clear purpose and relateable subjects. This helps reinforce the literature and give it structure. Good writers also know how to draw emotions from thier audience in order to set the mood. Writng is a flowing stream of inspiration.

  35. Jania Yancey says:

    In order to be a good writer, you have to be very optimistic. You want to remember that you are convincing the reader of something. While reading The Righteous Mind, it was easy to see that Haidt was doing a lot of convincing throughout the book. However he overanalyzed many things which definitely didn’t help convince me. Some things that were actually really simple, he tore apart and tried to make alternate perspectives on it.

  36. Adam Tewodrose says:

    In my writing, if my opinion is supposed to be mentioned then I’ll use whatever information I have at my disposal in order to prove my point. I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion, so it is not my place to change their views. But I hope to provide facts that make them consider my point of view, so that maybe they will agree in their own way.

  37. Danica Mondon-Poirier says:

    In response to the second part of this post, I also believe that appealing to all six senses can be problematic. Michael Brown’s death is an ideal example of someone with authority abusing their power to oppress those with less. A police officer shot Brown in Ferguson, MO simply because Brown had allegedly stolen from a nearby store. Whether this is true or not, the officer had no right to kill this young man. It’s obvious the cop had depraved intentions; he shot Brown multiple times after it was apparent that Brown was already in critical condition. Authority is necessary, I can’t deny, when it is used appropriately and fairly. Yes, Michael committed a crime if he did steal, but the punishment for this is most certainly not death. Similarly to how appealing to the loyalty foundation created troubles for those who didn’t look typically American after 9/11, appealing to the authority foundation can have its ramifications. I know Haidt believes authority should only be used to create order and justice, but too often is a position of authority taken for granted. This is a prime example of why liberals have little to no care for the authority foundation. I don’t believe all six receptors are necessary, or even that everyone has all of them. They all have some type of positive output, but for some the problems they create outweigh their benefits.

  38. Sharnia D. says:

    In order to be a good writer one has to have all of the basic writing skills before anything complex can be communicated. The work must flow naturally and clearly state the writer’s point. It is important for a writer to evoke questions and emotions from their audience. As far as an audience goes, a writer should have an actual target audience and know how to relate and form connections to them using the correct rhetorical strategies.

  39. Alex Seibert says:

    The responsibilities of a good writer is to either create a entertaining or meaningful story for fiction and for non fiction to inform on ideas or to say ones opinion. Writing is an art form but with that it comes with the responsibility to add something to society.

  40. Luigi Raineri says:

    As a writer, i would without a doubt, before writing, take a breather and identify and analyze my biases. I would then write, leaving them out of my writing. Instead of showing the reader i favor one side over the other, i would present both sides in a neutral way. As many here have said, Haidt was able to conquer and secure many different minds by simply presenting every idea and topic in a neutral way, describing both sides and giving clear metaphors which everyone could easily relate to.

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