authority and writing

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The reader can be greatly influenced by writing. Any inaccurate or deceptive assertion on a sheet of paper has the potential to influence the audience’s feelings, attitudes, and actions. That is why, before reading a book, people want to know the author’s authority and whether he or she is qualified to speak or write. The term authority has been interpreted differently by different sources; for example, the Oxford Dictionaries defines authority as “the right or power to issue orders, make judgments, and execute obedience.” However, in writing, if anyone has power, he or she has a quality that causes others to trust what they claim. According to the article authored by Henneke, and entitled “How to Write with Power and Authority, even if You Feel Like a Nobody” Henneke states that, “All the words written are enormously strong and powerful.” In his article, Henneke asks, “When was the last time the written or spoken words made you cry, smile, or inspired you to take action?” Again, he states that when an individual learns how to write with significant power, readers automatically start listening to their ideas, buy their products and services, and more so, act on the advice outlined. It is possible to inspire change even if one feels like he/she doesn’t have the authority or clout at that moment (Copy blogger). Apparently, authority is not all about you, but the audience’s lives, because a compelling writing can change an individual’s perspective on life. Therefore, writers should write with authority by understanding and be responsible for their texts. By creating authority, writers should know the required information, provide relevant evidence from reliable sources, speak from their experience and with confidence, and finally, establish their credibility.
People are said to have the authority when they understand their topic and deliver the right information to their audience. Nowadays, the internet has full access of outside sources that individual can read and write on a given topic; however, they lack the authority to write; which affects the reader’s perspective on some points. In colleges, it’s important to write with authority as it helps to build your knowledge on how to successfully write your future career. I am interested in the business major, and to achieve a better career goal, the first thing I have to keep in mind is how to write and communicate effectively. The article “How do I write with authority?” says, “Writing with authority is about acquiring the ability to carry the reader with you as you present your argument and make them willing to accept what you say. However, it is significant to note that ‘authority’ is not a synonymous of ‘dogmatism.’ You are not bashing the reader into submission (which is counterproductive), but persuading them that in this matter, your views can be trusted” (Transkills). Writing is a form of communication that we use every day in the business world, as it is always about informing, selling, and persuading the customers, clients, and partners about your ideas, services, and the products. Therefore, it’s substantial for another person to believe what you are trying to tell them by establishing your credibility and authority.
Most of the authors want to express the authority based on the reader’s needs and expectations, which means, they usually take readers’ thoughts, emotions, and advice to inspire them to buy their book as it has the connection between the author and audience’s point of view. However, some authors express their thoughts and ideas on the topic they discuss. In the article entitled “Student Writers and Their Sense of Authority over Texts,” the author explains the case that, “It took Pat five drafts during the two-and-a-half-week period to complete a portrait of his friend. His sense of authority grew out of the early commitment he made to document their friendship. This commitment brought a feeling of responsibility to his text, so strong that he chose to make his decisions independent of his readers’ expectations. Although the readers might have helped him, they did not possess a clear sense of his subject” (Berkenkotter 316). Apparently, this shows that authors should write with the authority they have gained. When you are confident and responsible within your text, your writing doesn’t have to be based on the readers’ expectations or needs.
To gain authority in writing, writers must provide their readers with detailed information and back up that information by using the relevant sources, be clear, have confidence, speak from their experience, and establish their credibility. Most of the credible people are known to be honest and reliable. According to McCarthy, “Dave had some experience, gradually acquiring a coherent sense of the language of the discipline, how biologists think, speak and what they talk about. Dave’s understanding of the biology language was accompanied by increasing confidence in his ability to use it (254). Both of these are necessary foundations for more abstract and complex uses of the language.” Again, according to Schneider and Andre, “In the process, the students acquire the ability to develop critical reading skills, reinforce their disciplinary knowledge base, start to master genre and academic discourse conventions and acquire an authoritative and confident voice in their writing” (Schneider and Andre 8). In fact, this is also part of our class goal, that is to make sure that students have a better knowledge in writing, develop critical reading and thinking skills, understand the genre, conventions, are confident and write with authority. Nonetheless, we have achieved all these strategies in English 20, which would help us be successful in writing and communication in our future careers.
Readers believe in writing when the writers have the authority and credibility. Authority has a significant impact on the readers, and that’s why writers should write with their knowledge, back up their information, be confident with their information and must establish the necessary credibility.


Works Cited
Berkenkotter, Carol. “Student writers and their sense of authority over texts.” College Composition and Communication 35.3 (1984): 312-319.
McCarthy, Lucille Parkinson. “A stranger in strange lands: A college student writing across the curriculum.” Research in the Teaching of English (1987): 233-265.
Schneider, Barbara, and Jo-Anne Andre. “Developing Authority in Student Writing through Written Peer Critique in the Disciplines.” Writing Instructor (2007).

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