Why Academics’ Writing Stinks Response

1. Outside of universities, the idea is that individuals purposefully create poor essays or other types of writing. They lack common knowledge of their topic, and thereby attempt to incorporate “scholarly” terms to make up for their inexperience or ignorance. Within universities, they believe academic writing is hard to comprehend due to the theoretical and complicated aspects of the material. Pinker’s opinion focuses on the interpretations and descriptions of the topic. He believes some individuals are unable to express their overall message.
2. Pinker points out six obnoxious attributes of the self-conscious style. These attributes include: metadiscourse, professional narcissism, apologizing, shudder quotes, hedging, and metaconcepts and nominalizations.
3. After reviewing the definitions of the self-conscious style, I found that hedging could be detected in my writing. I do not always have a confident tone when writing informative essays. This leads to using words such as so to speak, to some extent, in part, and so forth. I agree that using this language makes the writer seem less credible and less interested in their topic. I believe that metaconcepts and nominalizations can be redeemable. Using words like role, strategy, concept, etc. can be beneficial. When describing someone’s job or position, I believe its acceptable to use the word role. Depending on the context of the situation, a writer can use metaconcepts.
4. When reading another writer’s work, I focus on their relatability to their audience. When reading academic writings, it seems as if the authors do not take into account the individuals they are trying to reach. Authors tend to assume that the reader understands the topic and terms affiliated with it without clarification and specific definitions. This therefore causes the reader to feel ignorant or become disinterested. When key terms are defined properly, individuals feel as if they are more apt to relate to or develop opinions on the writer’s topic and overall purpose.


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