Edited by John Ishiyama, William J. Miller and Eszter Simon
Chapter 34: Promoting course based writing in the discipline
All of us have heard a version of this story: a student submits a political science paper, seemingly confident that his or her ideas, arguments and conclusions are sound, but upon receipt of the graded work is upset to find a lower-than-expected grade and comments critical of the writing style. The distressed student argues that this is a political science class, not an English class; that the ideas should matter more than the method of expression; that he or she is a good writer and the instructor’s disagreement is a mere matter of stylistic opinion. What is the instructor’s response? It depends, but at the core it usually includes a defense of the principle that we all must become fluent—or at least highly proficient—in the language of the discipline and that there is a standard for professional communication. To this end, we commonly concede that some of the ideas might, in fact, be ‘good’, but that it is the author’s responsibility to convince the reader that this is the case. The reader should not have to work harder to see the point than the writer has to work to make the point.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.