Bad Thinking Leads To Bad Writing, by Legal Writng Prof, Legal Writing Prof Blog
In a recent Chronicle of Higher Education article titled ‘Bad Writing and Bad Thinking,’ author Rachel Toor argues that some problems with students’ writing arise from their belief that they must write like others in their fields—even when that writing is clumsy. Instead, Toor says, students should follow George Orwell’s and Strunk and White’s advice about thinking and writing clearly. She adds, ‘Call me simple-minded, call me anti-intellectual, but I believe that most poor scholarly writing is a result of bad habits, of learning tricks of the academic trade as a way to try to fit in. And it’s a result of lazy thinking.’ Law students’ exposure turgid judicial opinions may explain some of the problems they face in learning legal writing.