Professors Have Lost the Skills to Write Lively Prose and Choose Interesting Topics


The excerpt below is from a WSJ summary of an article by Maureen Ogle in the March-April 2007 issue of HISTORICALLY SPEAKING.


History professors, writes Ms. Ogle in the History Society’s bimonthly bulletin, don’t make enough effort to connect with students who view the world through a lens shaped by iPods and instant messaging. Worse, professors have lost the skills needed to engage a general audience like writing lively prose or choosing interesting topics. Their careers depend on getting articles into tiny journals on abstruse topics, not conveying the importance of that research to the public.  . . .

. . .

She resigned from her university post in 1999 and began a mission to provide nonacademic readers with "well-researched, well-documented, well-reasoned history." On the way, she discovered the perils, and pleasures, of writing for an audience "larger than six."


For the full summary, see: 

"Informed Reader; ACADEMIA; Historians Belong on the Street, Not in the Tower."  The Wall Street Journal  (Thurs., May 31, 2007):  B6.

(Note:  ellipsis added.)


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