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Sometimes I Wish That It Would Rain Here

Saturday, May 26, 2007

academics are boring writers

from a review of Mapping Biology Knowledge by Kathleen Fisher...

Surprisingly, as academics, the authors write pretty well - crisp, succinct, and most of all, not boring.


wow. even though I've been accused of using this blog as an excuse to sound stuck up, I hope my academic writing can break what is apparently a trend of being boring.

speaking of writing, back to the survey paper...

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2 Comments:

  • Whenever i try to write in an interesting way people who review my paper say that it's too coliquial and inappropriate. So then i just revert back to using "is" as my passive verb in every sentence and curse my 11th grade english teacher. The subject matter determines how non-boring you can make it though.

    By Blogger Greg, at Thursday, June 07, 2007 9:35:00 AM  

  • Greg,

    you make two excellent points here. one, that due to the review process, boring writing begets boring writing, since reviewers tend to accept papers that emulate existing papers. two, certain types of subject matter are more amenable to non-boring writing. there's also a point to be made about the audience, that when one academic writes for other academics, what matters is that acacedmics find it interesting. however, I suspect the problem noted in the original quote is that acacedmics seem unable to turn off the "boring" filter for their writing. the original quotes goes so far as to intimate that academics tend to be bad writers, and I think that is the main statement against which I was reacting.

    By Blogger Jystar, at Thursday, June 07, 2007 10:50:00 PM  

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