Peer-reviewed library and information science journals are certainly no exception to the scourge of "academese" - a dialect known for its floridness, pedantry, and obfuscatory properties. Rachel Toor, an associate professor of creative writing at Eastern Washington University in Spokane, writes in the Chronicle of Higher Education about what she "hears" from those writing for an "academic" audience:
Am I making a convincing case? Have I mentioned everything everyone else has said about this topic and pointed out the ways that they are (sort of) wrong? Do you see how much I've read? Have I dropped enough important names? Does my specialized language prove I deserve to be a member of your club? Am I right? At the end, I hear hope disguised as an attitude that asks: Am I smart?
She further illustrates her point when reflecting on her career, "In my work for a publisher, I had perpetrated on the world a whole lot of garbled ideas expressed in jargon and in meaningless, incomprehensible, and never-ending sentences."
Toor goes on to discuss internal calls for more persuasive writing in various academic disciplines, including history. She also reviews a new book "Stylish Writing" by Helen Sword, summarizing some of the tips from the book about making academic writing more accessible and, frankly, interesting. -- Read More