Academic Writing

Academic writing is usually a clear and structured outline that stays focused on the subject.  This creates an appealing read  for the audience versus some writing such as technical writing, which can be direct instructions or notes without evidence or reason.  Academic writing can be better because it provides a professional outline with factual statements.  As an example, in “Man’s Search For Meaning: The Case of Legos” they provide a professional background on the authors at the very beginning of the academic study by showing the schools attended for each author.  By using ethos, the authors have now gained the attention from their readers by stating their reputable background and enticing them to continue.

Academic writing can vary from other styles in several different ways but not necessarily negatively.  It is typically some form of essay or reports used to explain truth or an argument,  then supported with evidence by using cited work.  In Dan Ariely’s articles about his experiments, he represents the same story but has three different articles based around the same few experiments.  The first article “What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work?” he demonstrates the power of meaningful work versus being “ignored”.  What makes people value their own work and remain motivated? “The good news is that by simply looking at something that somebody has done, scanning it and saying “uh huh,” that seems to be quite sufficient to dramatically improve people’s motivations.”  Similar to the other articles, he is demonstrating how we can improve employee’s productivity and happiness.  His argument is supported with the experiments and provides an interesting conclusion to make you think.  Comparatively to the Duke University press release “What Managers Can Learn From Legos,” he takes evidence from his own experiments and compares them to the overall objective he is trying to portray. “Adding to the evidence from the first experiment, this experiment also showed that meaning, even a very small meaning, can matter a lot.”

Unfortunately, academic writing can provide less emotion compared to magazines or a fictional story, which expresses a more free-form style.  Fictional writing allows the writer to express emotion and imagination.  It depends on the audience, or even the style sought out, but sometimes it’s nice to see something different than reality. It allows your mind to appreciate the creative imagination.

In conclusion, I believe that academic writing can be all three of these, better, different, or worse, and still have a necessary place in our world today.  Without it having these traits, it wouldn’t be good writing.

One Response to Academic Writing

  • richardcolby says:

    You begin with a rhetorical analysis of sorts, with a focus on ethos, which works. The second graf appears to be summary mostly. your next graf has your major claim, that it uses evidence, and that it cites things. As a claim, it is great, but then the rest of the graf seems more like summary than carefully selected evidence to support that claim. How are things cited differently in the three pieces? In citing himself, does the TED lecture tell you what journal it was in if you wanted to read more about it? Does he refer to the student who inspired the experiment in the academic article? In your third graf, you talk about emotion and expression. Why wouldn’t academic writing use emotional appeals? You can respond in a comment or a revision.

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