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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Same Old

The same problems in writing that afflict college students afflict their professors too. Lack of clarity, overgenerality and vagueness, lack of original ideas, bad organization, inability to integrate more abstract principles with concrete examples. At what point should you learn these things? I would say the earlier the better...

4 comments:

Thomas said...

Yes, I find my advice to undergraduates, PhD students and full professors is largely the same. I guess I'm just talking to that same part in everyone that wants to learn.

profacero said...

This is because all writing problems are Comp Lit 1A problems. It's not that people don't learn, it's that questions such as not letting background take over foreground (or if it does, reassess what the paper is about) can appear in any project.

Andrew Shields said...

I used this list in class today and found it incredibly useful. I added a sixth point based on your post about emulating models: "failure to emulate good models."

It's a bit poorly formulated, put that way, isn't it? The related problem might be "emulating bad models," for example, emulating scholars who don't write very well.

Jonathan said...

You wouldn't consciously emulate a scholar you thought wrote badly. Someone might unconsciously imitate bad scholarly practices in their own field, and fit in pretty well that way.