Professor Pedantic 教授的考究學問
The professor awaits your query on academic writing, though in all honesty, he doesn’t have a lot of time for you. He is a tenured full professor and working on yet another magnificent academic tome. Even so, he has graciously consented to entertain your question. Submit it and prepare to be edified.

QUESTION: I love academics. I crave intellectual stimulation. However, I do not like writing academic papers and the subsequent publishing scene. How do I learn to embrace a part of the academic life that frankly doesn’t interest me?

Your frankness is refreshing, if somewhat disturbing. You seem committed to a profession while rejecting one of its principal tenets—sharing knowledge gleaned from research. The tension inherent in that dichotomy does not bode well for your career in academia. It is not unlike the young person who wants to be a champion swimmer yet is fearful of water. One cannot win a breaststroke contest standing beside the pool. In the same way, achieving satisfaction as a scholar is not likely unless your aversion to writing is overcome.

How do you learn to at least like writing in a scholarly vein? You learn the same way the erstwhile reluctant swimmer learns to accommodate full-body immersion in water: You jump in. First you must decide scholarship and academia are your best vocational choice. Then you must commit to the joys and challenges of the profession. You already evidently embrace the joyous parts of the scholarly life; getting your arms around the part that challenges you is the remaining task. You may never love writing, but you would be wise to learn to like it. It isn’t going away.

To help yourself, you should determine just what it is you deplore about writing academic literature. Is it grammar that defeats you? Put in the time to master it. Is it a failure of imagination, an inability to clearly project an original thought onto a written page? Is it impatience, an unwillingness to sit at a keyboard for the duration of a writing project? These are mechanical issues that someone with a true love of learning ought to be able to successfully address. You are on the right track by admitting your hang-up. Now you must get rid of it.

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