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December 8, 2006

How to stretch a paragraph into 300 pages

Sometimes it feels like studying for political science exams is all about reading different versions of what should be obvious in the first place, each version declaring that it is presenting a revolutionary idea and that none of the other (nearly) identical ideas are right. And sometimes it feels like writing a political science exam is all about taking a point that could be adequately explained in five sentences, and then somehow managing to stretch it into 20 (wrist-straining, handwritten) pages. 

Usually, I know that there are important differences between neo-realism and neo-liberalism, that it is important to write definitions of words like "power", "effective", "legitimate" and "nation" when using them in an exam and that references are all-important. But sometimes it feels good to read a rant about bad "academic" writing and just think: "Yeah, I'd rather be reading a novel right now." 

Oh, well. It's almost over. 

Posted by Julie at December 8, 2006 4:40 PM

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Posted by: per ivar at December 10, 2006 1:44 AM