Christine Cheng (Lecturer in War Studies at King’s College London) has written a very useful blog post on how practitioners-turned-students, in particular, can learn to write academically by:
1. Building comprehension (read deeply and understand how the literature fits together)
2. Mimicing the academic form of your discipline (in terms of tone, style, presentation, use of language etc.)
3. Engaging with the literature and find your academic voice (critique existing literature and use it to build your own arguments)
4. Experimenting with new forms of expressing your ideas (optional)
The full article is here: The Art of Academic Writing (for Policy Makers & Everyone Else).
That was both excellent and concise. Thank you for sharing it.
I think too there needs to be information for students/scholars seeking to translate their knowledge into the language of practitioners. Trolling the internet for examples from which to frame a document is a veritable mine field if the scholar doesn’t possess working knowledge of what is acceptable and/or expected within the practitioners’ domain; especially when trying to ascertain the ideal balance between asserting abstract conceptualisations against conveying practical, commonly understood doctrine among a diverse audience.
Additionally, (and from my admittedly limited perspective) I sense there is room to expand the cross-cultural exchange and enhance outcomes for both sides. The better we can prepare students of Security, Conflict and International Development to cross into the practitioner realm, the more immediately we can potentially strengthen field-level implementation and policy formation. Conversely, the more readily we prepare practitioners to expand the academic canon, the more accurate, accessible, and meaningful the literature will become over time.
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