Monthly Archives: August 2014

What’s the Use of the Academic Paper? — Teaching, Learning, & Education — Medium

What’s the Use of the Academic Paper? — Teaching, Learning, & Education — Medium.

Well, to be frank, I think the open-ended closing to this essay is a huge cop-out (and one that we can’t typically get away with in academic writing!), but some of the information she cites is p interesting. The traditional classroom may be a relic of 19th Century industrialization, but wouldn’t updating it to fit current technology subject future generations to a similar wrong? The problem, here, is training students for their futures based on our current needs and realities.

And as a personal side note (coming from someone who excelled at academic paper writing, so take it with as many grains of salt as you need/want), I do think there’s value in learning to write formally and to adopt a voice that is uncomfortable. It’s a brain-stretching exercise that also exposes a lot about how written language operates and how to communicate with a variety of audiences. The long SAT-word-laden sentences of academic writing teach both readers and writers to have patience for complex ideas… but of course they can also sometimes obscure crappy ideas and impoverished thinking with highfalutin vocabulary. On the other hand, the seemingly relatable tone of a blog can serve a similar function, so why not study both together? Maybe it’s time for the contemporary classroom to get down with a little rhetorical theory to train a generation of critical thinkers.

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