Chronicle: 10 Tips, Writing Less Badly

In today’s Chronicle of Higher Education, Michael C. Munger’s “10 Tips on How to Write Less Badly” offers advice to scholars. His main points:

  1. Writing is an exercise (and you can get better with practice).
  2. Set goals based upon output, not input (“I will write three pages” is a goal; “I will write for three hours” is not).
  3. Find a voice; don’t just get published.
  4. Give yourself time (and don’t think you can procrastinate to rush at the end).
  5. <Irony on> Everyone’s unwritten work is brilliant. <Irony off>
  6. Pick a puzzle, using a formula but not slavishly following a formula.
  7. Write, then squeeze the other things in.
  8. Not all of your thoughts are profound (or, at least, not completely correct).
  9. Your most profound thoughts are often wrong.
  10. Edit your work, over and over.

The article is on line to subscribers.


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