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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Academics And Bad Writing

Why Most Academics Will Always Be Bad Writers

No one should be surprised if much scholarly writing continues to be mediocre and confused

Noah Berlatsky | July 11, 2016

Academic writing is bad, and academics should feel bad for writing it. So said Steven Pinker in The Chronicle a couple of years back, but he’s hardly alone. Academics have been kicking — or, if you prefer, virtually dialectically deconstructing — academic writing for more than a decade.
Many "academics (and especially younger ones) tend to confuse incomprehensibility with profundity," Stephen Walt declared in 2013. "Call me simple-minded, call me anti-intellectual, but I believe that most poor scholarly writing is a result of bad habits, of learning tricks of the academic trade as a way to try to fit in," Rachel Toor argued in 2010. "Obscurity creates an aura of importance," said Martha Nussbaum as part of a lengthy takedown of the feminist theorist Judith Butler in 1999.

(Why academic writing is so bad. February 16, 2013) Source:

<more at; related articles and links: (Why Academics Stink at Writing. September 26, 2014) and (Bad Writing's Back. Mark Bauerlein. Philosophy and Literature 28.1 (2004) 180-191.)>

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