“Children, I said to her. For the first little while, they not exactly human, you don't find?”
Nalo Hopkinson

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Academic and Research Writing

I apologize ahead of time for bad grammar or typos, but I am feeling spacey today.
"Daily Writing Tips" has an excellent post on how and why certain people choose to write in a hard to understand manner.
I majored in English and had an extremely difficult time with research writing, so I admit to a certain amount of prejudice.

Academic writers reward one another for having the ability to write in what they believe to be an esoteric style, but I think they do it to try to prove their superiority.  At least that is how most of them presented themselves to me.

I want to share an Orwell article that "Daily Writing Tips" also has on their website: .   I sort of put the link here for myself, but other people should benefit too.  I experienced a lot of disrepect and cruelty at the hands of people who write in this manner, so I like to read this article because it makes me feel better!


  1. Good links!

    A writer-editor friend of mine helped me to unlearn the bad, bad writing habits I picked up when I was in grad school... I'm not sure that I knew what I meant when I lapsed into academic-speak. ;)

    I guess push came to shove when I realized that *all* of the articles in a professional journal I used to subscribe to were completely unintelligible. The cliché about typing animals (monkeys?) eventually coming up with at least some of Shakespeare's plays seemed to be true of these pieces, and I honestly don't know who read them (or tried to read them).

    That kind of push to publish just for the sake of publishing has to be one of the all-time stupidest things about our system of higher education.

  2. Hi Spinning. Thanks! What did you major in at college?

  3. You're not gonna believe this, but: art.

    I did *not* want to be an English major (which is what everyone thought I should do), partly because of the "should" thing; also because I love to read so much that I didn't want reading to turn into a chore (all that required reading). I was afraid that I'd lose the joy of reading for pleasure and... when I went on the grad school and majored in art history, I lost my love of just looking at art. So I think my hunch about not wanting to be an English major was right.


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