This may seem off topic, but….a thoughtful essay.
There’s been a lot of discussion recently about how bad much academic writing is. There’s nothing new in this. I’m sure people have been complaining about the aridity and complexity of academic writing since Edward Casaubon first put pen to paper in Middlemarch.
All writers, I’m sure, go through a stage where the imperative is to get everything down on the page. It’s the next stage though – making those pages readable to either a specialist or a general audience (and deciding which one is more important) – that we academics particularly seem to struggle with. Partly, it’s the pressure to publish as quickly as possible, but sometimes there’s a perverse security to be found in woolly prose and arcane jargon that prove we are a part of the group.
A friend yesterday sent me the draft of an article to read, with an apology that she used to…
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