Sin Boldly! Dr. Dave's Guide to Writing the College Paper

By David R. Williams | Go to book overview

17
Concluding Sermon

Try to remember and believe that the purpose of writing is to communicate ideas as clearly and as quickly as possible. Do not try to show off or confuse or pontificate. Do not be afraid to let your ideas stand boldly and clearly on the page. Writers who clothe their ideas in layers of elaborate silk and satin are hiding the reality underneath, not beautifying it. Away with their verbal fig leaves!

All of those postmodern theorists who try to confuse you with their denial of any known truth (except theirs) are playing games with their minds. Don't let them play games with yours. You may think yourself incapable of thinking and writing at the sophisticated level of these clever pedants. But even if you are crazy, you are no crazier than the average asshole sitting on a tenured throne. Nor should you be ashamed of your beliefs however much the theorists try to persuade you to believe that there is nothing to believe but their belief in nonbelief.

Being something of an old-fashioned essentialist myself, I am naive enough to believe that outside of the virtual-reality language helmets we all wear, something exists. That something, whatever it is, call it reality or truth or the force, Allah or God, may not be anything like our artificial socially constructed selves imagine. But it is the context out of which we arose and within which we live and move and have our being. Our perceptions of that reality may be distorted and blocked by our virtual-reality language helmets. We may all be trapped within the matrix. Deus may be absconditus. But S/He/It is still out there some

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Sin Boldly! Dr. Dave's Guide to Writing the College Paper
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Appreciation iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction What It's All About xi
  • 1 - Some Really Crude Basics 1
  • 2 - Choosing a Topic and Telling Your Story 9
  • 3 - In the Beginning . . . Pulling Your Creation out of the Void 25
  • 4 - Choosing a Voice 35
  • 5 - Plain-Style American Populism 49
  • 6 - Choosing Words 61
  • 7 - Arguing Your Case 77
  • 8 - How to Lose Your Case 91
  • 9 - For Instance: Two Examples 101
  • 10 - Literary Games 115
  • 11 - The Social Sciences 141
  • 12 - Grammatical Horrors 155
  • 13 - Some Common Stupid Mistakes 163
  • 14 - Punct'Uation!?! 177
  • 15 - Citing Sources Successfully 187
  • 16 - A Sample Quiz- Just for Fun! 195
  • 17 - Concluding Sermon 199
  • The Author's Rap Sheet 202
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