New Books In Language

Nigel A. Caplan, "Grammar Choices for Graduate and Professional Writers" (U Michigan Press, 2019)



Listen to this interview of Nigel Caplan, Associate Professor at the English Language Institute, University of Delaware. We talk generically. Nigel Caplan : "And this sort of brings us to an important point about knowledge and expertise in a discipline. The great genre scholar Doreen Starke-Meyerring said that academic writing tends to be transparent to experts in the discipline, and they forget how opaque it is to novices. So, if you study engineering, biology, philosophy, whatever it is, and you're immersed in that world all the time, it's very easy to believe that that is the only way of writing, because that's the only type of writing you have done for decades. And it quickly becomes, 'Well, that's obviously good writing.' And the idea is, 'Anything else is bad writing.' But experts don't realize what we see as English teachers, especially as teachers in English for Academic Purposes, where we work with students across the disciplines — what we see is that each discipline does have its own way of creating