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How to Read and Write Like a Writer

I hope you are doing well. Following your request on advice on how to read like a writer I have prepared the following summary of my views on the topic based on Mike Bunn’s article on “How to Read Like a Writer”.


Reading, much like any other personal intellectual activity, is both an art and a science. Reading is an art due to the fact that different people employ different methods and innovative techniques to help them gain a better grasp of what they are reading. Reading may be considered as a science because there exists reasoned procedures and principles that define what would constitute good and intuitive reading from normal reading. The article written by Mike Bunn gives a detailed description of how to read like a writer. He distinguished reading like a writer from normal type of reading and describes the principles and methods that one may use to improve on their reading. The author opines that there is a wrong and a write way to read and that in order to read like a writer, the reader must have a purpose for which he or she is reading (Prose , 2012). In my view, this article contains key ideas and practices that can help readers improve on their reading.

How to Read and Write Like a Writer

How to Read Like a Writer

The first point that the author puts forth is that in order to read like a writer, one must identify the choices that the author made. The article argues that authors have choices to make when writing. In order to better understand the authors work, one must try to understand why the author chose to use some words instead of others (Bunn, 2011). The reader must also ask why the author used some phrases or stylistic devices. The reader should also question the reason for the tone and mood used by the author in writing the work. In my view, it is important for the reader to understand why the author made the choices he made in order for the reader to discern for him or herself whether or not to make similar choices in their own writing.

The second point the author delivers is that in order to read like a writer, the purpose for which you are reading must be to learn about writing. The author differentiates this from the normal kind of reading where the intention of the reader is to get a good grasp of the ideas put forth by the author. He argues that readers should try to understand how the author put together different pieces of his writing and how ideas are connected. This, in effect, also allows the reader to automatically grasp the ideas as well as learn the techniques used by the author to express his ideas (Bunn, 2011). The goal behind this type of reading is to identify the choices made by the author and the effect of these choices on the reader (Brande, 2016). In my view, this goal oriented form of reading enables the reader to understand not only the techniques that can be used in writing, but also the ideas put across by the author.

In order to read like a writer, the author explains, there are certain fundamental questions that the reader needs to ask themselves before and during reading. The author explains that questions asked before reading should be aimed at understanding the context of the work. For instance, the reader may ask themselves whether or not they know the authors purpose and intended audience for a certain piece of writing. The author further states that during reading, in addition to the questions asked before reading, the reader should also have a set of questions that he or she may use to guide them throughout the reading process. The reader can ask themselves whether or not they would make the same writerly choices if they were in the writer’s shoes. In my view, asking these questions enables the reader to gain a firm understanding of the choices made by the writer and to critique the relevance of these choices in their work.

Conclusion-how to Read and Write Like a Writer

Reading like a writer is crucial to any reader who wishes to improve their writing skills. The techniques put forth by Mike Bunn on how to read like a writer, if properly used, can go a long way in improving ones writing skills and reading skills. I would therefore highly recommend that when reading, use the following technique in summary: question the authors decisions, consider what techniques he or she used and which techniques would have made the work better and finally, decide which attributes of the work to include in your writing. This will go a long way in improving how you write.How to Read and Write Like a Writer



Brande, D. (2016). Becoming a Writer.

Bunn, M. (2011). How to Read Like a Writer. Writing Spaces.

Prose , F. (2012). Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those who Want to Write Them. Aurum Press.





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