Better academic writing means better thinking

Students and academics assume people will think they’re dumb and won’t take their ideas seriously if their writing isn’t complex, dense and difficult to read.

The problem is real. As Rachel Toor writes, bad writing and bad thinking go hand in hand.

Let’s turn this idea on its head: Crisp writing is a sign of neatly ordered thinking. Or Good writing is direct, clear and precise. It is also unambiguous.

Much of Toor’s post is about passive language – which she rightly condemns. Scientists and engineers sometimes need to use the passive voice, but most of the time, the active voice is best.