QCQ 6 – Lessig


“Imagine how absurd it would be to write the Hemingway Estate and ask for permission to include 3 lines in an essay about Hemingway for your English class. When you recognize how absurd it is, you’ve recognized how this is an essentially democratic form of expression; the freedom to take and use freely is built into our assumptions about how we create what we right.” (Lessig 157)


I’d have to agree. What is being taught in English classes nowadays seems repetitive in terms of structure and content, and is similar to how we’ve already been taught to write in high school and college years. What we learn while reading and writing about books or stories, like Shakespeare, usually consists of reading the text and then interpreting what sections of the text mean. Then after, there is typically a comprehensive paper on the unit. That goes for all the reading and writing units that are done in class. We also learn how to write these papers and to do outside research to find additions to our writing. Citing our sources is part of the process. Most of each paper then becomes combining the reading with the research, resulting in a bland and boring paper. There’s really nothing creative about it. Lessig agrees with teaching about Shakespeare and other authors and story writers, but he believes there is a much better and more creative way to learn to read, and write about these things; as do I. The idea of writing where you use other sources, then have to credit them everywhere isn’t a very fun way of learning the subject and writing about it. Possible solutions to these boring research and citation-dominated papers could instead be a twist on how you would’ve gone about writing the passages in Shakespeare, as opposed to the way he wrote it.


Do you think the current ways of expressing and interpreting what is taught allows for creative writing?