Problems with academic writing

nbnguyen's picture

I think the biggest problem wih academic writing is that it's too logical and rational. It prevents us from expressing our emotion. However, emotion is also a way of knowing besides reason, perception and language. First, emotion is a significant factor to form intuition. We sometimes just intuitively know something without thinking a lot about it. For example, it 's human nature to keep away from huge animals. Second, emotion is also the motivation to gain knowledge. Wrights brothers would never invented airplane if they hadn't had passion toward flying. And at that time,their  ideas about flying was totally based on their emotion (passion) rather than reason (this idea was contradictory to gravity force in Physics). However, academic writing underestimates the importance of emotion in gaining knowledge. Furthermore, it's somehow impersonal which prevents us from express ourselves and sharing our experiences and point of view.

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Hummingbird's picture

I agree! I think acedemic

I agree! I think acedemic writing forces us to take a step away from the personal and turn issues that would otherwise be important to us into abstractions. I also think this means that we hold ourselves back from saying things passionately – which I think is extremely necessary if we're doing the sort of class discussion which we have been in this class. In my environmental studies class, one of our assignments was to take a scientific article and write a paper summarizing its information so that the general public could understand it. I had to read the article three times before I even began to understand it myself, and once I realized it was all about cell death in corals, I understood the implications of the information: slightly warmer temperatures could lead to massive die-off of coral reefs around the world. But the article never stated the information simply like that. Someone with basic high school biology would not be able to understand it without substantial outside research – so someone who has niether the time nor educational capital has no access to this information. If we expect people to care about making changes to their lifestyle for the sake of the environment, we have to de-class scientific writing so that it can be understood. Academic writing is, for many people, inaccessible. And this means there will be a class divide between academia and 'everyone else' until changes are made to the writing style.

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