As I think about what writing “like an academic” means, I can't help but think of formality and perfection. Tied up in dense theory or personal story, the author's we read about somehow articulate their ideas in a way that I feel I never could. Their ideas are described so well that describing them any other way could never do them justice.Yes, these works have been edited, pared down, and abstracted to fit the goals of our assertions. However, in this process of editing, paring, and abstracting, how much of our voice are we deleting and muting? How much of ourselves do we take out of our own equation?
Here, I'm thinking about Marion's zine and the way she kept it unedited. While it is messy and filled with typos, it reminds me of the journey of learning that Dewey alluded to in the beginning of the semester. It reminds me that this journey is just as important as the final product. Through Marion showing us an earlier work of what she hopes to accomplish, we understand her “unperfected” thoughts. Thus, we better understand her personal journey of knowledge, and from there we somehow relate and empathize with that journey and struggle. However, as Williams pointed out, academic writing often contains so many personal ideas that are hidden in abstraction and edited to “perfection”. Maybe we hope to relate to more people by making ideas more vague. Maybe we hope we'll sound more credible if we riddle our sentences with SAT vocabulary instead of just saying things like “big as shit.” While I can see why this could be true, I'm concerned that the “perfection” we aim for in academic writing is why it fails to carry out its intentions.