Common Theme​

Common Theme Reading/Activity

Here are some videos that feature a variety of perspectives on what it means to be/work as a writer. Choose three and synthesize a response (around 250 words) where you compare and contrast your writer’s identity with that of these writers. Be sure to include a hyperlink when you respond below. (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

– short clip on Taylor Swift songwriting process (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

– the Beatles songwriting process (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

– Ricky Gervais on how he learned to write (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

– J.K. Rowling and writer’s block (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

– Short clip from David Sedaris, really emphasizes redrafting and revision (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

– Jay-Z on writing process (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

– 11 talks about writing (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

– Writing across borders

this is sample work for my classmates :


Ricky Gervais explains that the biggest influence on his writing process came from a teacher who once told him to “write what you know”. After given this advice he mostly wrote about things that he saw on the television. He described that after a while of trying to write really interesting stories in school and getting back bad grades, he decided to write about boring things and make them extraordinary. I find this similar to me in some ways because a lot of the time I will get hung up when I’m trying to write something I think is worthy of an A, when it really isn’t. Gervais writing style differs from mine in the fact that I do not try to write about the things I see on television.

David Sedaris talks about having just sent in his 21st draft of a story in the video. He describes how during the revising process he’ll go out on tour with a few stories and come back to rewrite them and rethink them. This is similar to my writing process in the way that I’ll go over my essays and think about the ways to make them better. His writing process differs from mine in the way he meticulously rewrites his stories many times.

Jay-Z talks about how his writing process comes from listening to the music on the track first, letting it dictate the subject of the song. He explains that the melody comes second and them the words come last. This is similar to my writing process in the way I build an outline become creating my paper. His writing style differs from mine in the way I have a subject before I start writing.


Watching the video regarding writing across borders, I realized that there are multiple challenges international students face when converting their writing style to the American style. Here in America there are a set of standardization’s to meet when writing an essay. Growing up among these requirements, I have grown accustomed to this way of writing, but it is not an easy process to get through. Because of this, it is hard to fathom that international students are expected to meet these expectations from the start. According the the video, a big obstacle to overcome when switching writing styles is organization. I personally can not image writing an essay in which I do not introduce the topic from the start and it would be a difficult change to make.

Taylor swift states that when writing songs she does not need to be within a certain environment. She could be going about her daily routines and tasks, and lyrics will come to her. She quickly makes note of these ideas that come to her and reviews them later, considering whether they are sufficient enough to make into songs. If not she discards and wait for the next idea to pop up. For me, this highly contrasts my writing style. In order for me to be a successful writer I must be in a fairly quite room, with little distractions. Even sitting somewhere other than a desk effects my level of concentration. Likewise, for my concepts to make sense, I have to sit and thoroughly contemplate them. Ideas do not randomly come to me throughout the day either.

In some ways I believe that my writing process is similar to Jay Z’s in the way that his melodies came before his words. He has to think about what emotions the beats are showcasing and he writes based upon those. In a similar manner, my writing is based upon the vibe and emotions I receive from the research conducted. The organization of my essay comes first, my formal outline yields the ideas. In the end comes the words of my essay, similar to the way lyrics are the last part of a song for Jay Z.


Taylor Swift described her writing style as very random and that ideas or melodies simply come to her throughout her day. That dramatically differs from myself because I find that I have to sit and focus for a while to come up with complete ideas. Swift says that she returns back to her ideas after writing them in her phone, and she decides if she will trash it or build off of it. I can find myself to relate to that aspect of her writing because whenever I re-write my work I tend to see aspects that I don’t like anymore and I will delete it.

The Beatles spoke about when other people sing different versions of their songs, and how they personally feel about it. Both Lennon and McCarthy agreed that they enjoyed hearing other renditions of their work and that they typically enjoyed it more than their own. I relate to this for my own writing style because whenever I read my peer reviews, I take their ideas into great consideration. I value other peoples ideas and I think it overall helps me to become a better writer. Being able to build off of other’s ideas and advance works of art is a great way to make yourself a better writer or songwriter.

In the video describing writing across boarders, I thought it was very interesting how international students struggle to write in an American style because it is so drastically different from their own. I am not an international student, although I can see how it must be challenging to write in a society where timeliness and order is so valued in a paper. I find the American style of writing to be quite stressful and my writer’s identity is challenged whenever I have to write a paper in forty minutes. It restricts how much creativity I can include in my work and this style of writing highly emphasizes how the question is answered. Therefore I can somewhat relate to the struggles of international students, although I have been raised to write this way so I am used to it.