How the Humanities Tell Us How to Write

There are so many majors for prospective college students to choose from in our society, but it is generally the areas of study that fall under the "Humanities" label that focus on the multifarious modes of the "accepted" written word. The "accepted" standard is, obviously, the academic level which professors expect students to meet. But this standard depends upon the major. A History essay differs from an English paper, while an argument posed in a Philosophy essay often takes a different stance on the human psyche as opposed to a Psychology paper. After considering all of the popular majors under the Humanities umbrella, these distinctions become even clearer, yet every student still chases after that elusive academic standard.

  • Yes, it is certainly controversial when considering the marking systems for humanities and essay-based subjects! Applying stringent rules to such varied pieces can be difficult. I think the humanities have been suffering due to the privileging of work that can produce quicker 'results' based on controlled experiments and statistics (something more suited to hard science subjects). In consequence, from the science side of things the expectations for quick results & need for funding can have a huge effect on the style of experiment undertaken (for example, longitudinal studies may be overlooked, or studies with less obvious and immediate results sadly abandoned) and on the humanities side of things the abilities to be critical, think deeply, and take a holistic approach are unfairly downgraded. This is a huge issue, and I think there is an interesting political angle to be considered in a piece such as this. – Camille Brouard 9 years ago
  • I think this is a very interesting topic that should be explored further! It is super important to understand the distinction between writing for different audiences and genres. – Morgan Muller 9 years ago
  • I think this is a very relevant topic, especially for the people writing on this cite, or for other outlets. It's important to know how to write for what audience, which will make someone more marketable in the future when looking for jobs in a particular field. – Samantha Brandbergh 9 years ago
  • This is an interesting topic. I guess an important aspect to think about when Writing on the differences in academic writing within the humanities is not only the topic of discussion, but also the intended audience and most importantly of all the sources used to prove any one argument. – CheesyJ 9 years ago

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