How to Read Like a Writer



How to Read Like a Writer

Dear Mr. Kumar,

Thank you for your inquiry about how one can read and write better. Indeed, a close link exists between writing and reading. Recently, I came across an essay by Mike Bunn titled “How to Read Like a Writer.” The author has shared some techniques and methods that, after putting them in practice, have helped me become a better writer. My purpose is to discuss the main points raised by Bunn and indicate how they could be of help to you too. My persuasive argument is that to become better writers and readers; we must read a given text the way a writer would do it as opposed to reading it for the sole purpose of pleasure or finishing an assignment. To achieve this, more attention has to be paid to the manner in which the writer is putting his points across instead of what he wants to say. To be specific, we must focus on the techniques employed by the writer to communicate his message across. More importantly, we must focus on the impact that these methods have on us.     How to Read Like a Writer

The first point mentioned by Bunn is that for one to read and write well, he must be keen on understanding the manner in which a given author has put his work together (Bunn, 2011, P. 72). This way, it will become easy for him to determine if he likes or dislikes his style. It is my view that this technique could be of help to you. If you find a given work impressive, it becomes easier to replicate it in your writing style. Moreover, the technique will help you identify those forms of writing that you don’t like and are therefore uncomfortable reading them. In the end, you will be better positioned to write based on your preferences. Bunn has also mentioned about the use of quotes at the start of your work (Bunn, 2011, P. 80). However, though this technique could be useful when you want to impress your readers, it may at times fail to accomplish this role.How to Read Like a Writer

To improve your writing and reading ability, you must train yourself to read like a writer. It will involve paying attention to the message being conveyed to the audience by the author and what you could do to achieve what the author has already accomplished through his writing (Bunn, 2011, P. 76). As Charles Moran mentions, improving or reading and writing ability will require us to participate and to understand a given piece of work (Moran, 1990, P. 7). Therefore, you must go beyond being just an ordinary reader who scratches the surface of a given text only to gather information and instead focus on the more in-depth process of reading. To achieve this, you must develop a new way of reading which Bunn describes as reading like a writer (Bunn, 2011, P. 74). Though it could prove to be painful to you initially, you will have an advantage given that you have written many papers previously, both inside and outside the classroom. Bunn also notes that readers who develop their ability to read like a writer end up improving their writing skills. He also mentions that students find it easier to develop this power given that they possess basic knowledge of writing and seeing things in the perspective of the author.

To read like a writer will entail you analyzing the content that you read to decide on whether to or not to incorporate similar methods and techniques in your piece of work (Bunn, 2011, P. 75). Bunn has broken reading like a writer into several parts. The first section entails the reader determining the purpose that made a given author writer his wok, in addition to the intended audience. Moreover, before reading any work, you must take it upon yourself to determine its genre. For instance, you must establish if you are reading a poem or an essay.

Bunn notes that for one to improve his reading and writing ability, it is necessary for him to ask several questions before commencing on the reading process. For instance, you should determine what the author’s purpose and who make up his intended audience. Moreover, you should consider any decisions that you would have made if you are the one that had written the piece that you are reading. As Prose points out, a good reader and writer should identify the most vital writerly choices in a given text, and evaluate them to determine if they can be used in his work (Bunn, 2011, P. 81, Prose, 2012, P. 72). The primary intention of these questions would be to help you determine the appropriateness and effectiveness of different aspects contained in a given text.How to Read Like a Writer

To sum it up, it is possible for you to improve your writing and reading ability by learning to read like a writer. This way, you will be better positioned to understand and also participate in a given piece of writing. By developing your skill in this area, you will see and understand the choices that a specific author has made based on the circumstances that faced him. Therefore, I urge you to hold onto the points discussed in this email as your reference and guide in your quest to develop your writing and reading skills. I believe that the information presented by Bunn will also guide you towards becoming a good reader and writer.















Bunn, M. (2011). How to Read like a Writer. The Saylor Foundation.

Moran, C. (1990). Reading like a writer. Vital Signs, 1, 60-69.

Prose, F. (2012). Reading like a writer: A guide for people who love books and for those who want to write them. Union Books.