Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Academic Writing

I find academic writing to be incredibly difficult and often times unbelievably boring. Often times my writing style is too flowery as described my teachers, and I receive bad grades on formal writing assignments because of this. I don’t believe formal writing should inherently mean the elimination of sentences and poetic paragraphs because that removes all creative thought. That creative thought makes writing and reading special and unique to each individual and is the driving force of all powerful literature in history. No literature geek read an academic paper and thought it was beautiful use of asyndeton, litotes, alliteration, metaphors, or any other literature technique that is used in poems by Robert Frost or Szymborska or written masterpieces by Virginia Woolf or James Joyce. Each of these leaders in literature gained the respect of the reading community by breaking the rules in a creative way.
Of course, certain works need to obey basic conventions so as to avoid confusion. However, I believe these instances would be so rare that it would be common knowledge when to follow these formalities. Such as in research papers or technical reports for scientists and engineers, there would be no need for flowery prose. This would be analogous to a manual for building something out of a set of Legos being a twenty page novel instead of direct directions. It is interesting when the chapter describes a Romanian student’s writing experience in the United States and how they wrote in flowery sentences in Romania, but here its frowned upon as not being straight to the point. I am not sure if it’s a result of the culture I was raised in or if it is only logical, but the only way I can envision professional writing in the workplace or academic writing is being strictly formal.

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