I Myself Am a Woman: Selected Writings of Ding Ling is writing that expresses personal sentiments of the writer. This piece of writing is based on the personal experiences of the main character. In fact, this is a diary of major life events. For this very reason, the writing style here adopts a first person singular pronoun. As such, the word ‘I’ has been widely used in the article. Therefore, one can easily conclude that the views in the article are purely personal, and do not include the views of a community. As it is conventionally known that diaries usually narrates personal life events. However, they sometimes include events that involve a community at large. In that case, the author acts as one instrument of community discourse. His or her writing shall be upheld as the mirror through which outsiders get to view the lifestyles of the inside community. He or she stands in the gap between a community and the outside world. In this particular piece of writing, the author has used a personal ground to project a community discourse.
This piece is written in a freestyle manner that does not observe many of the scholarly writing conventions. For instance, there is no inclusion of in-text citations. Well, it can be said that the omission was by default since the author only expressed personal sentiments. We assume that no outside source was borrowed to fill the opinions expressed therein. However, there is an extensive use of direct quotations. These quotations make the text more realistic since they bear first-hand information.
The second article, writing in modern China: An Anthology of Women is Literature from Twentieth Century, has various similarities with the aforementioned source. However, the narrator’s voice is in the first-person plural. The author uses the word “our”, instead of “my”. On another perspective, this writing blatantly overhauls the previous piece by the inclusion of a communal voice. This writing is a perfect representation of community discourse. In terms of writing styles, this piece effectively utilizes footnotes, an aspect that is not seen in the previous writing. The footnotes here elaborate key points in the main text. There is also page numbering as well as header.
In conclusion, both pieces of writing are closely related in terms of writing styles. There is page numbering on the top-left corner of all the pages. Both writings exhibit headers on all pages. The two pieces do not direct in-text citations, as is the case with many scholarly writings. Despite these vast similarities, slight difference could be noticed. It was noted the first writing, I Myself Am a Woman: Selected Writings of Ding Ling, is more personal than the second piece. Therefore, Writing in modern China: An Anthology of Women’s Literature from Twentieth Century is a perfect representation of community discourse.
- Barlow, T. (2011). I Myself Am a Woman: Selected Writings of Ding Ling. Boston: Beacon Press
- Dooling, A & Torgeson. (1999). Writing in modern China: An Anthology of Women’s Literature from Twentieth Century. New York: Colombia University Press