Academic writing can be many things; however, it usually does one of three things: explain, persuade or entertain. Throughout this semester I have written several pieces for this course; their main function was to explain my opinion about my documentary theatre and film pieces. Though they were brief explanations I feel as though I was able to, through them, understand more about the way that my pieces work. Discovering a new idea while writing is a part of the process that writers go through, as is editing and incorporating new ideas about the pieces. Writing evolves over time in order to best fulfill its function not only in academic paper but also in the plays and films that I have discovered through the course.
Explanation, as a function of writing, is mostly just a summary of relevant facts that deal with the issue at hand. For me this was the easiest part of writing and was for the most part where I started my first drafts. Most types of writing do this in order to broaden the available audience of the piece just as film and plays target different audiences by the viewpoint they take throughout the work. The second function which is to persuade is also almost always done by writing simply because bias can never be removed from anything that we do. Documentary plays and film also struggle with objectively versus personal opinions. Usually in my writing I would finish my first draft with the different idea I wanted to express with my paper and the topic at hand then later revise to my the argument more coherent. Finally, the third function of writing which is to entertain is something that writers try and do in order to keep the reader engaged or simply for the sake of it. I did not do too much of this in my essays however my pieces were, though informative, also meant to, simply by nature, be entertain. Writing is similar in function to documentaries both seek to explain an issue and often to persuade the viewer toward one side of the issue while keeping them interested in the topic at hand.
In short in order to create any piece of writing one is usually trying to explain, persuade, entertain or some combination of them all much like any piece of work or art. Academic writing is a form which is taken to express some type of information in words and the methods we use within this form are varied. Most people write in order to give their opinion about a subject, in order to do this they must first explain what that subject is. Then they must persuade the reader, with the explanation, that a certain way of thinking about the issue is the correct one. Sometimes the information can be given in a humorous way designed for entertainment or take on a conversation tone, as writers strive to keep their readers interested. Academic writers like documentarians seek to inform their audience about a topic, but also like documentarians they cannot keep personal biases out of writing and usually tend to persuade the reader into a certain way of thinking all the while understanding the importance in keeping their writing appealing.