Monday, September 29, 2014

Academics Write Like Crap

Well, at least most of us write like crap for our academic writing. Additionally, most of us don't include humor in our scientific articles either.

I do the best I can to buck this trend, though others will be the judge of how well I do. I certainly attempt to put humor in some of my writing, and quite a few of my papers (e.g., this one) contain easter eggs. I do think that I am a good writer, and at minimum I am definitely very anal about my scholarly prose.

Although I don't agree with everything in the article about what we do that is bad --- for example, I think the paragraph with "The rest of this article is organized as follows." is genuinely useful for many readers, especially if the article is long --- but I agree with a lot of it. Also, I can't overemphasize how much my scientific career has benefited from my experience in journalism at Caltech. (Yes, being a Tech Editor has been amazingly beneficial. It's one of the best and most important things I did for my education.)

(Tip of the cap to Carlos Castillo Chavez.)

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