Star Wars and editing your writing

Written by: Spencer Greenhalgh

Primary Source: Spencer Greenhalgh

I’m an enormous Star Wars fan, so I found this video, How Star Wars was saved in the edit to be really interesting (thanks to this Polygon article for recommending it). It’s a long watch, but I think it’s well worth it, because it has some lessons not only for enormous science-fiction franchises but also for scholarly writing (which I’ll comment on below).

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past few years is just how much of the research process is actually a writing and presentation process. As we do research, we do a lot of interesting work and generate a lot of interesting data that we want to say a lot about. However, I’m increasingly of the mind that research is just as much a process of argument as it is of discovery. That is, no matter how compelling our ideas are or how good our data is, if we can’t present our findings and argue for our conclusions in an effective way, we’re not likely to make as much headway as we would like. So, like Lucas and his team of editors, we have an obligation to cut the fat, rearrange our ideas, and constantly revisit our writing until it does our research justice.

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Hi there! My name is Spencer Greenhalgh, and I am a student in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology doctoral program at Michigan State University. I came to Michigan State University with a strong belief in the importance of an education grounded in the humanities. As an undergraduate, I studied French and political science and worked as a teaching assistant in both fields. After graduation, I taught French, debate, and keyboarding in a Utah private school before coming to MSU, where I plan to study how technology can be used to help students connect the humanities with their lives. I have a particular interest in the use of games and simulations to promote ethical reasoning and explore moral dilemmas, but am eager to study any technology that can help students see the relevance of studying language, culture, history, and government.

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