Reading Response: Why Academics’ Writing Stinks

1) What’s the popular explanation outside universities for why academics suck at writing? What’s the popular answer within universities? In Pinker’s opinion, however, what are the two major contributors to the poor quality of academics’ writing?

2) Pinker names six obnoxious attributes of the “self-conscious style.” What are they?

3) Are you prone to any of these attributes in your own writing? Why? Do you think some of these attributes might actually be redeemable?

4) What do you value most in another writer’s style?

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