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Thread: Looking for input on a paragraph

  1. #1
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    Looking for input on a paragraph

    Hi all, I'm looking for some help editing this paragraph both stylistically and thematically. It appears in an academic paper about a topic in aesthetic ethics. The paragraph serves as a general transition to another section. I was wondering if the points made in this paragraph are appropriate in that they are not intended to be argued but merely to shed light on what's to come. I'm also interested in what can be revised stylistically. Thank you.

    All those affected by the creative impulse have a desire to be seen and heard. Allison declares: “I know that if I am to reach my audience I must seduce their attention and draw them into the world of my imagination” (Allison 14). Even as she writes about personal struggles, Allison still wants her stories to be interesting. It’s hard to imagine anyone writing purely for their own satisfaction despite what authors sometimes claim. To be accepted even amongst the few vindicates the artist’s work, and eases the insecurities all good artists necessarily possess. The power to seize attention is hence a much sought-after quality, but bestowed perhaps unfairly upon the filmmaker, whose medium commands the senses, and requires an uninterrupted space for viewing by the design of the cinema – a luxury afforded only to the performing arts. Thus when a director becomes capable of speaking to millions across the world, who can resist the temptation to use the opportunity for something more?

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    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    A few quick thoughts came to mind, particularly if this is for an academic paper:

    1. "Allison declares...." - declares is not suitable for an academic paper, it is ascribing too much presumed emotion - you don't know (presumably) how the words came across. Were the declarative?

    2. Is Allison her first name? If so, switch to either full name, or surname - that's just how it's done.

    3. "It’s hard to imagine anyone writing purely for their own satisfaction despite what authors sometimes claim." - this sentence is groundless, and too speculative for an academic paper.

    4. " To be accepted even amongst the few vindicates the artist’s work, and eases the insecurities all good artists necessarily possess. " - The first part is fine, although I hope you have something to back these claims up somewhere else. The second part is a sweeping generalization: all good artists are insecure? Maybe, you can't prove it, nor should it be tossed casually in here. Also, as a good word processor will tell you - amongst is no longer in use, but one of those archaisms that isn't suite archaic - people list to add the "st" to sound fancy.

    The rest of it falls apart a bit. Admittedly, without further context it is hard to evaluate, but it seems like you are trying to contrast written work to film - you jump far too quickly to film's dominating power. Your final question comes out of nowhere.

    Also:

    "The power to seize attention is hence a much sought-after quality, but bestowed perhaps unfairly upon the filmmaker, whose medium commands the senses, and requires an uninterrupted space for viewing by the design of the cinema – a luxury afforded only to the performing arts."

    this is poorly worded and the last part is untrue. Most art forms are experienced without interruption - or at least, with only a small intermission. It is longer written forms (epic poetry, novels, novellas, plays, long essays &c.) that are the outcast here.

    I hope some of this helps.

    Best of luck.
    I wrote a poem on a leaf and it blew away...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Darnay View Post
    A few quick thoughts came to mind, particularly if this is for an academic paper:

    1. "Allison declares...." - declares is not suitable for an academic paper, it is ascribing too much presumed emotion - you don't know (presumably) how the words came across. Were the declarative?

    2. Is Allison her first name? If so, switch to either full name, or surname - that's just how it's done.

    3. "It’s hard to imagine anyone writing purely for their own satisfaction despite what authors sometimes claim." - this sentence is groundless, and too speculative for an academic paper.

    4. " To be accepted even amongst the few vindicates the artist’s work, and eases the insecurities all good artists necessarily possess. " - The first part is fine, although I hope you have something to back these claims up somewhere else. The second part is a sweeping generalization: all good artists are insecure? Maybe, you can't prove it, nor should it be tossed casually in here. Also, as a good word processor will tell you - amongst is no longer in use, but one of those archaisms that isn't suite archaic - people list to add the "st" to sound fancy.

    The rest of it falls apart a bit. Admittedly, without further context it is hard to evaluate, but it seems like you are trying to contrast written work to film - you jump far too quickly to film's dominating power. Your final question comes out of nowhere.

    Also:

    "The power to seize attention is hence a much sought-after quality, but bestowed perhaps unfairly upon the filmmaker, whose medium commands the senses, and requires an uninterrupted space for viewing by the design of the cinema – a luxury afforded only to the performing arts."

    this is poorly worded and the last part is untrue. Most art forms are experienced without interruption - or at least, with only a small intermission. It is longer written forms (epic poetry, novels, novellas, plays, long essays &c.) that are the outcast here.

    I hope some of this helps.

    Best of luck.
    Thank you for your feedback. Would you mind elaborating on why this sentence is poorly worded?

    "The power to seize attention is hence a much sought-after quality, but bestowed perhaps unfairly upon the filmmaker, whose medium commands the senses, and requires an uninterrupted space for viewing by the design of the cinema – a luxury afforded only to the performing arts."

    If the author instead made a point about how movies have a distinct appeal in their combination of visual and aural elements, and of how the depiction of motion conveys an immediacy, would the statement then be less contestable?

    Thanks again.
    Last edited by Accordion; 10-30-2013 at 11:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Accordion View Post
    Thank you for your feedback. Would you mind elaborating on why this sentence is poorly worded?

    "The power to seize attention is hence a much sought-after quality, but bestowed perhaps unfairly upon the filmmaker, whose medium commands the senses, and requires an uninterrupted space for viewing by the design of the cinema – a luxury afforded only to the performing arts."

    If the author instead made a point about how movies have a distinct appeal in their combination of visual and aural elements, and of how the depiction of motion conveys an immediacy, would the statement then be less contestable?


    Thanks again.

    I'm not sure if the wording is the issue. Rather than conclude the paragraph, this sentence introduces the topic of film making, which contrasts sharply with what has gone before. I can't help thinking the topic of film should be developed and elaborated upon in a subsequent paragraph. In addition to use film and performing arts synonymously does not make sense. Does the stage also require an uninterrupted space for viewing? What of the page/screen/gallery which also demands an uninterrupted space for viewing too? Could you look at the Mona Lisa if someone was standing in front of you? If the point is about film making, then elaborate using words to describe film making.

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