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Building confidence in using online forums
Building confidence in using online forums

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1 Changing the story of writing

Stories are used to help shape how you think about different aspects of life. These stories inform not only how you think about things, but also what you consider to be important and how you respond. Sometimes these stories are based on scientific facts (e.g. vegetables and fruit are needed in a healthy lifestyle). Sometimes they develop because they are experienced repeatedly in a particular way (e.g. moving to the left of a staircase to let someone else pass). These stories become ingrained in you, in how you talk about something, the images you associate with it, or how your body responds. One story everyone has is a story of writing: what it is for, how to do it and how to think about it.

In educational settings (schools, colleges, universities), stories about writing are reinforced by teachers, parents, guardians or peers. Often this experience of writing is for assessments where you are trying to show understanding. In these stories, writing is judged, considered as right or wrong, and can often lead to feelings of success or failure . However, this is not the only story of writing.

Three stick men with speech bubbles. Described in long description.
Figure 1 Moving towards a different story of writing

Forum writing, while sometimes done to show understanding or for assessment, mostly needs a different story of writing, where writing is done for a different purpose. The question is, what is this different story of writing? To begin to explore this, you need to start by considering your experiences of writing so far.