Unconventional Writing Tips for Academics in Humanities: Playing as Per the Rules


What would you say to a rugby player who is trying to score a valid goal using soccer rules? No matter how spectacular the goal is, it will not stand because the player flaunted the rules of the game. When it comes to academic writing, we also have rules that regulate different fields of writing. Some of them require writers to use simple and plain English, while others allow for the use of jargon, obscure, and at times incoherent language.

One of those areas that abide by the rules of obscurity is Humanities. If you are a student who is aspiring to tread this path, then this post is a must-read for you. In this post, we will share ideas and tips that will help you to tread that zone where a few dare go. Keep on reading to discover more.

Take care of your headings

In the gone days, many academicians held the view that the title of every piece of academic writing needed to express ideas in a clear and descriptive manner. But with the change of times, this view is shifting, and they are now beginning to appreciate the fact that you can also use headings that do not appear to have much “logic” from their surface appearance. The main reason for using such titles is not to remove logic and reason from the content, but rather to attract and maintain attention. For instance, it is easier for people to fight over a headline that reads, “A boy bites a dog” than it is for them to scramble for a title that reads, “A dog bites a boy.” Additionally, if you use a title like, “Organized chaos rules this city,” you will get more attention. Even though from the surface every sensible person knows that chaos signifies the absence or rule and order, yet the uncanny presentation of the topic will attract attention.

It is okay to be a wordsmith 

Another mold that you need to come out of is the traditional belief that language is a static monument that people must submit to. This stance is partially true. However, the truth is that language is dynamic, and anyone has the right to modify it. That is why you have every right to invent words to express your ideas if the current mode of English lacks that word. If you want to talk about someone who is addicted to titles, just say they are “titleholic” or “titleneurotic.” If you have an issue with too many office meetings that are wasting time, you can invent a term called “meetingitis” and so on. This is one of the best ways of growing yourself in your creativity.

You should never shy off from inventing your terms as long as you help your readers to understand them. This approach is not unique because all the other fields of knowledge have developed in the same way. Take the ICT sector for example. Before its budding, we all knew the word “mouse” to mean a kind of rat. But now, it means a computer peripheral device. Also, the word “default” meant something negative when one absconded their duties. But with the rise of ICT, default has assumed a very different and positive meaning. Remember, there are no special people who are supposed to create words and terms.

Do not shy off from being branded a revisionist

Another way of following in the footsteps of unconventional Humanities is venturing into the world of revisionism. For instance, you can add as many prefixes to verbs as possible. For example, you do not just say engineering, but rather, re-engineering. Instead of just saying inventing, you need to say re-inventing. This way, you show your audience that you are in charge of revisionism.

Dealing with prepositions

Another way of remaining in the path of unconventional Humanities is dealing with prepositions. Most verbs can assume multiple prepositions. Therefore, you are allowed to use them as much as you can.

Decorated elegance

Another way of attaining incoherence in Humanities is using the term “as” as a connecting point between two concepts that are not related. However, you don’t need to keep on explaining the reasons why the two concepts are connected. For example, you can talk of “protest as remedy” or “failure as beauty.”

Do not mind interrupting yourself

In traditional writing, they told you never to disrupt your writing. But when it comes to unconventional Humanities, you are at liberty to interrupt yourself in the middle of your writing. As long as you are seeking to clarify issues for the sake of assisting your audience in understanding, you are free to do it anytime, and without apologies. For instance, you can disrupt your writing in this way: “Even though most of the students were supposed to repeat their classes, most of them (citing financial constraints) were unwilling to do so.” Look at this other example: “Most of the parents were ready to transfer their children from the school citing security lapses—after raising the matter with the school more than once—unless the management assured them of their children’s safety.”

In search of assistance?

With the above, you are now up to date with what it takes to tread the untrodden path of unconventional Humanities writing.

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