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Different Kinds of Writing

Broken Mirrors

Recently I had a conversation with one of my students which ended with that student telling me that he/she shouldn’t be graded down for writing in a non-academic way because academic writing just wasn’t her style of writing. I’m sure that a lot of professors have had similar conversations over the years, and all been similarly annoyed with the confusion between writing styles (see voice), and writing styles (see type). For instance,  one might write in a very witty, sarcastic, nonchalant style (voice) and apply this to many styles (type) of writing. However, one cannot substitute a journalistic or personal style (type) of writing for an academic style (type) of write and expect to get away with it.

For instance, in journalistic writing the first person is not used, but quotes are heavily used, but they are generally attributed, not cited or referenced. The point of a piece is to…

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