Jane Tompkins explains what does ‘Planting a naysayer’ means. It is the strategy of improving a piece of writing by introducing the anticipated arguments and justifications. She explains that, in the process of writing a piece of work, everything goes smoothly. However, in the middle of the process, doubts and fears may arise about how the work will be perceived by the readers; possible arguments which may arise and anticipation of criticisms. Ignoring this thought and moving over with the writing will be a big mistake, says the author. Instead, the entire work needs to be read through and incorporate all possible arguments with their convincing justifications in the work. This will make the work stronger and more interesting to read, according to the writer. This strategy is called as ‘Planting a naysayer’ by the writer.
According to the author, ‘Planting a naysayer’ makes the writing unobjectionable, which is to the writer’s advantage. This is because, in the process of incorporating arguments and justifications in the writing, the writer will tend to conceive all possible criticism and arguments. Answering the objections in a very convincing manner will weaken the objections, criticism and arguments is the belief of the author. I agree with the author on this note. I believe that, giving adequate answers for objections will not leave any hanging questions about the writing and does not give any chance of criticism. In some cases, incorporating a naysayer can do all the talking, and leave very little to explain about the piece of writing. This approach makes the writing strong, unobjectionable, justified and clear.
Jane Tompkins suggests the writers to stay involved with the sentences and paragraphs when they are introducing an argument in the writing. Being with the text and viewing it from an outsider’s point of view will help analyze whether the writing is serious, sincere and persuasive, or in a mocking tone. The ability to lead an argument in a serious tone will make the reader believe the writer, says the author. Similarly, in situations where the writer tends to mock a viewer’s point of view, they must be careful because in turn, the ridicule will be triggered back at the writer. Therefore, it is necessary to stay serious, persuasive and strong in convincing the readers. A tone of undermining a point of view will put off the reader.
In the chapter “So what? Who cares?” authors express that, while writing, the writer must also concentrate on the questions like “So what?” and “Who cares?” It is important because, if answers to such questions are not provided in the writing, readers start feeling unsure about the importance of the writing. Many writers and speakers fail to answer these questions assuming that the audience will be aware of the subject. However, most of the people don’t get answered for these “so what?” and “who cares?” questions and hence they start feeling bored with the writing or speech. The author insists that, however interesting the topic is, it is very important to address the significance of the topic or argument.