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Monday, November 7, 2011

Nuts & Bolts (ii)

Every kind of paper has its nuts & bolts, its most logical and conventional organizational structure. Once you figure out what that form is, you can master it.

Now I imagine that you probably also want to learn how to write papers that do not follow a structure like that. For example, I would be very bored writing poetry analysis poems in which I always analyzed four poems. My recent paper "What Lorca Knew" does not follow a conventional structure. What I see more often, though, is someone struggling with basic mastery of the forms themselves. Their papers are not unconventional because they are innovative or creative people, but because they simply don't know what they are doing yet. The don't even realize that there is a form already developed by other people, that would be highly appropriate for what they are trying to do.

1 comment:

Andrew Shields said...

Then there's the category of student (usually male) who thinks he is really clever and unconventional but clearly could use some practice in writing conventional forms before showing off his brilliance in unconventional ways.