Reading Response 1; Haltman

In the Haltman reading, The “Prownian Analysis” is discussed. The whole concept is a little confusing yet extremely interesting. It explains how to go deeper into observing when observing an object. Writing is about painting a picture for the readers. It needs to be more than just descriptive work. The deeper the observations, the more it can help to figure out an objects “material culture”. Material culture is a physical piece of history, and anything that is associated with a specific culture, time, or place.  To understand an objects material culture, you have to be able to observe on a deeper level. A great term for this would be “thick description”. That adds that extra depth to the writing that a person needs when reading about an object. It allows for a person to picture the object in their mind and where the object came from and what time period the object came out of.  Reading Haltman was really beneficial. I have matured in the sense of being able to observe on a whole new level. It is not only about being able to describe an object, it is more of explain the object. If an individual can give more than a description and actually connect to the object on an intense and intellectual level it adds more depth to the entire work done. The second article I chose to read was The Secret to Good Writing and it made the Haltman reading seem more clear, and it was slightly easier to understand. It was relatable in many ways for example,  In The Secret to Good Writing it stated that “all abstract ideas come from objects”. Observing and writing goes hand in hand. It is the key to good writing. The Prownian analysis is basically a break down of how to create better descriptive writing using objects. The ways in which they were different were that Haltman was much more complex. The Secret to Good Writing was easy to understand. It was like he person was having conversation with a friend. The points made are good but there were a lot of things that made me think wow, that hurt. For example when Tyre stated “Student papers are often unreadable not only because their grammar is bad and their sentences incomplete, but also because they are way, way too abstract.” This quote was one that really was like a reality check. I stated that it hurt but it is the harsh reality. It affected me personally because I was oblivious to what exactly I was failing to do when writing because I was not taught the method of thickly describing and going deeper into an object. Tyre’s article made me think about how in Haltman it was repeated that it was not about just describing an object based off assumptions, it is about what is in our faces. Annotating through both pieces of writing really helped to break down the concept of what can help an individual achieve good writing.

Prown, Jules David., and Kenneth Haltman. American Artifacts: Essays in Material Culture. Michigan State University Press, 2000.

Maguire, John. “The Secret to Good Writing: It’s About Objects, Not Ideas.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 2 Oct. 2012,