I Think This is What I Think
One difference listed between an English essay and a news article struck me as slightly misrepresented. It was listed that when writing an English essay, the author is expected to write as a learner, whereas a journalist is expected to write as an expert. I completely agree that a journalist should seem like an authority on his/her article, however, the same commanding tone is also expected when a student is writing an essay for a literature class. A writer has to own his or her opinion, no matter what discipline he/she is writing in. Never once have I consciously written an essay with a questioning, second-guessing tone, though, to me, that is what is implied when one is writing as a "learner." "I suppose Dickens may have meant this, but I'm not really positive, for I am but a learner..." would not earn anyone a passing grade. Obviously that was an extreme example, but my point is that every author has to write with a tone of authority. A reader expects to be led by someone who knows where he/she is going.