Besides grammar, academic argumentation, and rhetorics, one must also learn to built up a living connection between yourself as a writer, your topic, and your readers. It is one thing to know what to say, but knowing how to say it so that people get engaged in what ever you have to say, is the most important part of your writing.
Just few days back, I discovered an interesting webinar "Researcher, write to be read!". Swedish researcher Jenny Helin was talking online about the research texts that are killing the audiences with their boring stereotyped lines. She asks for the ethics of writing: What kind of reality are we creating with our boring academic texts that no one wishes to read?
I totally agree with her suggestions to think of an academic text as a meeting place for a discussion. Instead of purely informing, open a dialogue, invite your reader to participate, and collaborate. It is of course much easier to say than to do. Especially, because of the traditionally very strict academic publishing rules that allow very little creativity, and experimentation in forms.
Something has to be done, because already today, Jenny Helin says, there is an average less than one reader per academic article. Isn´t that alarming? Why to write about your research in the first place, when no one is actually reading it? What greater meaning will our thousands of hours of serious work have, if nothing grows out of it in the future?
During my personal academic career, I have come across some pretty good examples about communicative scientific texts. One of my favourite being Susan Engel´s "Children´s need to know: Curiosity in Schools". She twines the elements of storytelling with research facts, and creates an argumentation that is much more appealing than in most other cases.
In order to take my own writing further, and break the mainstream trend of boring texts, I decided to participate in the online course about the future of storytelling. I will learn how to bring stories to my writing, and make it more alive.
The course starts in few days. See you there!
You might also be interested in:
Discussions with an Apple Tree
Creative imagination in writing
Research plan guidelines
My creative writing blog in English