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Provocations on the Structure of Scholarly Writing in the Digital Era
On the Horizon (2007)
  • Jodi Kearns, University of Akron
  • Brian C O'Connor, University of North Texas
  • Francisco B.-G. Moore, University of Akron
This paper seeks to urge academic writers to restructure their scholarly writing to reflect the depth of their intellectual message rather than conforming to the structurally simplistic hegemony of the mundane. The authors of this paper represent interdisciplinary perspectives in research. Each has grown increasingly disillusioned by dwindling consideration given to the structural integrity of scholarly thoughts in academic writing. This paper does not suggest a solution of strict adherence to some style manual or single format, nor does it suggest a privilege to any particular constraint. Indeed, the authors suggest that the digital environment enables unimagined communication possibilities, and hence a counterpoise to any single rigid structure. New formats require attention to the engineering of message structure. Using historical examples and modern applications from their disciplines, the authors offer provocations on the structures of scholarly writing. They pay particular attention to modern applications of Claude Shannon's information theory and to the introduction of models for understanding the audiences of academic writing. Scholarly writing warrants a deep investment of intellectual, personal, and communicative effort. Readers will have different requirements for any individual piece of scholarly writing, but all will be served by the fullest expression of the logic, care, tenacity, and passion that drove the research to fruition. Engineering the scholarly document to contribute to audiences of differing interests and abilities requires careful consideration rather than mere assumption of a generic reader. Research for this paper yielded few preceding studies that considered document structures for scholarship. Authors of this paper intend to provoke academes to engage in active and intentional reconsiderations of how they choose to say what they have to say, by following the presented examples of writing and tools for measuring structural elements of documents.
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Citation Information
Jodi Kearns, Brian C O'Connor and Francisco B.-G. Moore. "Provocations on the Structure of Scholarly Writing in the Digital Era" On the Horizon Vol. 15 Iss. 4 (2007)
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