31 Pop Culture is Good for Writing

Keith Erickson

Whenever a new blockbuster movie comes out in theaters, everyone wants to hear about it, and they look for the early reviews to see what a lot of critics think to help sway their opinion or their hype for the movie. Not having their own opinion is extremely popular in today’s world, and so if there is a big critic who says a movie is bad, then that is what their opinion will be based off and they will not go see it, or just hate on it even if they have not seen it. For example, when Star Wars The Last Jedi was released, the critics loved the movie, and everyone was so excited when it was released. Alissa Wilkinson from Vox says “Despite a 93 percent “fresh” critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes, The Last Jedi has the lowest audience score of any Star Wars movie on Rotten Tomatoes. it’s at 56 percent.”  All of the fans had very high expectations for the film, for them to only be let down by it because it was not what they expected it to be because of the reviews it got.

The stats and numbers show that the movie actually performed well, and was received well by the general public. Once again Wilkinson says “It received a Cinemascore of “A, and its average rating from moviegoers surveyed by Comscore was five out of five stars.” The numbers do not lie, many people liked this film, but the general perception of it, if you ask many Star Wars fans, is that it was bad. When people wanted to watch this movie, they looked up the reviews for it, and when they are doing that, they are using research skills and learning new ways to look things up. You can use these research skills in your classes, so pop culture is good for writing because you are curious, you look things up and learn new things about people, and you can use these skills. They are reading, sharpening their skills, and it is relevant to school work because they are always going to be researching, and looking for key plot points, themes, in stories, and it applies to the movies as well. You can use these research skills in your classes, so pop culture is good for writing because you are curious, you look things up and learn new things about people, and you can use these skills. Then after you work on your research skills, you pick up on the habits, the style, theme amongst other things that the authors of those pieces use, and you can use it to improve your writing. Taking things from other writers is not a bad thing at all, this is a copycat world, and taking things and putting your spin on it is a great idea, and pop culture is just a different kind of writing than we would usually see.

There are passions that individuals have that can help them succeed when writing in pop culture, and it keeps their audiences engaged. Certain groups of people enjoy just writing gossip, and if that is interesting, then you should go for it. There are so many jobs, places that will hire you to write gossip. Magazines, newspapers, the tabloids. Tons of people interact with all of these things, and your work can be seen by millions. Freelance Writing says “Advertising declines in recent years have resulted in staff reductions at most magazines. Editors increasingly turn to freelancers, including those at magazines that formerly were almost totally staff-written.” Since there has been a decline in those areas, you do not even need to be employed by a big company to make it big in this industry. Even starting small, then making your way up can be achieved.  There are so many open job opportunities to go for because gossip is very high in demand because there is always a story that needs to be covered. It can have a positive impact on writing because what started as a small hobby, can wind up becoming a full-time job. Being very passionate about something is great, and whether it is researching, playing, reading, or whatever the case may be, it will make students want to write more. Getting students, adults to write more, in general, is good for writing because it can really help students express themselves, and to perhaps discover a passion of theirs that they did not know was there previously.

Pop Culture can be beneficial for writing because when students or anyone for that matter start to read something they are very invested in, they want to just keep on reading, watching, listening. When this happens, they expand their vocabulary, their brains are working, and they are doing it because they want to, and not being told they have to by their teachers. Students at all levels are forced to read, write something they find so boring, and then they just get so turned off to doing those things in their spare time. Lots know the feeling, and being burnt out of reading, writing, and researching is real. Encouraging students to keep doing the things they enjoy in pop culture is great because it strengthens their overall literacy, and by the time they get older they will want to write more in their spare time. When students receive an assignment that is difficult for them to read, or they find it boring, they are more likely to give up on it, or not stay focused. The reason for that is clear, and it is a simple fact that their interest levels are so small. Pop Culture is sometimes referred to as too simple, which is one of the main reasons students cling to it. However, that is not always the case because there are complex topics they research, read because they are interested in it. The students might not know they are developing their skills, and that is the beauty of it. They are gaining so much knowledge, and it will only help because they can see the concepts clearer.

Something as simple as texting, debating what the friend group thought of the movie, show, videogame that they saw or played can be beneficial for writing. When people are debating something that they have a strong opinion on, they tend to write, speak more than they normally would because they are passionate about it. A pop-culture debate sparks a lot of writing talking since everyone nowadays loves to argue and prove why they are “right.” It draws interest for many because everyone will want to voice their opinion and talk it out in any form. Watching a YouTube video, picking up on rhetoric, tone, things like that can benefit that person’s writing because they will see the way they talk, and the words they use can all impact and expand the knowledge of an individual. So many debates happen in an online setting, whether it is on texting, facetime, or anything related to technology, and that is where the younger crowd feels more comfortable expressing themselves. Compared to in school writing about Shakespeare, or something they are forced to write about. When they express themselves more freely there and improve on their writing, those habits will now carry over to their schoolwork and will only make them better writers.

One reason why Pop Culture can be beneficial is that it gives people individuality, and interests. They find things they want to get deeper into and involved with. For example, when someone starts to enjoy a fictional universe they watch, read all the content available to them. After that is done, there is still a hunger to learn more about it. So, they do more research, write up their own stories, reviews, what they want to happen next, just jot down their thoughts. There are so many avenues that can be explored when someone finds something they love so much. It can be seen as an outlet for them too, to distract themselves from what is going on in their lives, or just as a stress reliever, or just as a hobby. When doing all those things, they are working on their skills so often and loving the time spent. Often when doing something more interesting to yourself, you work diligently, take fewer breaks, and want to do it.  Students often surprise themselves when they work on something, and don’t take a break and get it finished.

Attention spans are very much in play due to the interest level. It happens way too often that you just absolutely cannot learn the content a certain way that the teacher or professor is trying to teach you. It just does not work, and then the student will just want to distract themselves with something they enjoy. There are so many out-of-touch teachers that do not think of things like these, and it creates a rift between them and the students. It will only hurt their writing and reading skills if Making connections to pop culture in writing for students is important. Cahir O’ Doherty from E-International Relations states, “The benefits and importance of approaching popular culture when talking about world politics are multiplex. It can be used to make theory more accessible to students (instead of going into the theoretical reasons behind Realism.” They often will be able to contribute to discussions, want to actively participate in the activity if the teacher relates to them, and their interests. It is so important for the teachers to do that because if everything is so cut and dry, and just the content, the students will often not pay attention. It can be so easy to make connections to something they like as well to prevent this from happening. O’ Doherty again states, “For instance, Dittmer uses the Captain America comic series to explore how American identity is culturally constructed, arguing that the character of Captain America literally embodies the common identity of the US.” If it is well known a lot of students in the class love superheroes, then this would be a great example to use. When it is the same type of lesson over and over again, they can cause trouble, start getting impatient, and just disrupt the lesson. However, if the teacher from time to time helps the students make the connections to how they can identify certain things in the pop culture they enjoy, that can help them when reading, writing on their own.

There are so many clear benefits to pop culture helping writing. The old ways and stereotypes about it need to go away because times rapidly are changing, and the way students learn is as well. Many will still have their doubts about pop culture, but the evidence is there whether they chose to believe it or not. Do but do not be afraid to use pop culture to help improve on writing. There are so many different types, and there is something for everybody. Learning when you might not be aware is a special thing that cannot be achieved very easily. Understanding pop culture can easily improve your skills in other types of literature. When you understand that first, and you want to understand it, then it will help practice patience and it will be easier to understand the “boring” stuff that would typically be difficult in school. All in all, pop culture can be used as a beneficial tool that can help writing and just make better writers out there at every age group.

 

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Good Ideas About Writing by Keith Erickson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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