17 Pages Posted: 28 May 2005
Like most kinds of writing, academic writing rarely shines, but far more often than ordinary writing scholarly prose is murky and impenetrable. This brief jeu d'esprit considers several forms of bad writing, rejecting the claim, increasingly made in academic quarters, that "difficult writing" is necessary to the scholarly enterprise. Bloated, foggy, and enigmatic prose masquerades as profundity that escapes conventional mental grooves. In fact it is useless, unethical, and taken far enough, evil.
Keywords: academic writing, scholarly writing, bad writing, writing problem, scholarship,composition, clarity, ethics, prose, rhetoric, style, obscurity, Orwell, Dewey
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Lieberman, Jethro K., Bad Writing: Some Thoughts on the Abuse of Scholarly Rhetoric. New York Law School Law Review, Vol. 49, pp. 649-664, 2004-2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=730625