Reaction: Revisualizing Composition

Jeff Grabill’s essay, “Revisualizing Composition,” focuses on the writing lives of first-year college students with respect to which technologies are mediating their writing, how frequently each one is used and what forms of writing they value the most. As a first-year college student myself, I found his essay to be particularly interesting because of how I can directly compare it to my own life of writing.  

Grabill discovered that the most valued form of writing among the participants was writing that is related to the student’s academics. I very much agree with this statistic, since I am always finding myself seek extra help and spend more time on writing for my classes. I care more about the grades I receive than how my Instagram post or tweet will go over with my friends. Writing for my classes is directed towards a different, more formal audience.


I was also interested in the idea that writing alone is almost always preferred. The essay addresses the fact that people do write with others but if given the choice, would like to write alone. This trend is also applicable for me. I enjoy collaborating with others but it becomes inefficient to sit and actually construct the individual sentences. Everyone has their own writing style and voice, and to combine two people’s takes a lot of time and compromise.  

I can take away the idea from this essay that people write for personal fulfillment more often than for academic writing but value their academic writing more. I can relate to this because I am constantly updating my social media without much thought but never go with my first draft for a writing assignment. I’ve realized that my blog has also been highlighting this trend. I spend a lot of time on the actual blog assignments but can type up the other posts about events and experiences in no time. Grabill’s essay impacted me in the sense that it opened up my eyes to how I write.



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