Writing Books/phrasing...


Hello...I am finding it impossible to express this thought with good phrasing for a research paper:
Film often serves as an effective medium for social critique because it consists of an observation of social ills by members of its community…they ingest these problems, and then regurgitate them in a form that is familiar to its viewers.

I'm not usually that bad of a writer, but I have been rewording this for 3 days to no avail & i'm getting frustrated!!! I just want it to sound smooth...Thank you expert!


The problem with asking me to rephrase this for you is that I have no idea what the rest of your paper "sounds" like.  I don't know what approach you're taking with regard to the "voice" of your work.  So chances are high that if I were to phrase your statements so they sound good to my ear, it might not fit in well with everything else you've written.

Taken on its own, I honestly don't think your phrasing is bad.  But again, I have no context in which to place it.  One thing you might want to look at, though, is your choice of "ingest" and "regurgitate."  The connotation of regurgitation is that what we've ingested isn't sitting well with us, so we need to get rid of it.  But that's probably not what you're trying to say, so perhaps a different choice of words would be better.

If it were me (and it's not), I'd just knock this down to a bare bones statement, getting rid of the clinical sounding words.  I'd be likely to say:  "Film is often an effective medium for social critique.  Filmmakers observe the social ills in the world around them and reflect them in images familiar to us all."

Something like that.  But again, this may not fit well in the rest of your work.

Good luck with the paper!

Writing Books

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.