course
HI120 | Spring | 6 ECTS

The Craft of Scholarly Writing

Over a hundred years ago the Russian writer Anton Chekhov said the following: 'Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.' Despite the fact the writing in the humanities and social sciences is a different task than writing fiction, the bare tool box of the writer is nonetheless in its essence a universal set of skills and practices. For indeed, the art of writing evocatively is not only beneficial to novelists, but also to everyone who wants to communicate their ideas effectively. At one level, then, this course is designed to help scholars improve their writing skills in terms of structure and style. However, it is also a series of exercises in reading and writing carefully with the goal of improving one's scholarly craft. For, by attending to our writing (and to the writing of others), we can also deepen and expand our analytical and observational prowess. By working on the craft of prose, we equally hone the skills of the researcher (and the reverse). To those ends, this course will consist first of reading a mixture of scholarly and more literary samples of 'great writing,' and then mapping those samples in order to emulate different forms. The student will then build a consistent, daily writing practice that will help advance their writing goals within their own disciplinary framework.