graphic from almanack illus.

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PLOWING THROUGH
THE THESIS
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graphic from almanack illus.

Sense of Audience

Scholars should publish in refereed outlets, taking part in a dialogue in the world of ideas, and present a new or interesting approach to a problem to a clearly defined audience in an accessible manner.

Sander L. Gilman
"What Should Scholarly Publication in the Humanities Be?"
MLA Newsletter Fall 1995, page 3
In my reading of this brief passage, the quest for novelty is sandwiched between considerations of audience. Starting from the principle of peer review, the scholar is through a dialogue with the world of ideas engaged in a dialogue with the world. It is telling that the last element listed here is a call for clarity and accessibility. Plowing through the thesis requires the writer to address a "clearly defined audience in an accessible manner".

Clarity and accessibility are the goal. Sometimes getting there can be circuitous

The trick is to translate multiple audiences into writing genres. The writer accumulates and reworks material in a manner similar to Erasmus in De Copia. No opportunity is untapped.
  • letters
  • abstracts
  • proposals
  • annotated bibliographies & reviews
  • journals & diaries
  • lists, diagrams, glossaries
  • copybooks, florilegium
  • loose sheets
  • graffiti !!!
  • audio recording
Writing about the process, even a blocked process, is helpful.

Addressing yourself in the second person is a type of audience cultivation. No one need see you move your lips if your writing to yourself. For more on "self-induced metadiscursive moments" see Sense, 5.32


Fadi Abou-Rihan has written a fine piece on role modelling from a faculty point of view.


To Bill of Rights

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PLOWING THROUGH
THE THESIS
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To Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights

 

Bill of Rights


copyright 1997 François Lachance

lachance@chass.utoronto.ca