Academic Writing Is Essentially Professional Re-Tweeting

Academic Research

Yes. I know it sounds silly, but hear me out.

I took Introduction to Academic Writing (ENGL 1123) this past summer and learned more about the standards and formats of writing for an academic audience.

From what I have observed, it seems that the body of knowledge generated by academia is revered and reinforced by stringent rituals of referencing, cross-checking, and proper attribution.

By conducting one's research in a way that gives proper credit to ideas, facts, and figures borrowed from others who have illuminated the way for others in their field, the polite discourse sustained by knowledge-making is validated and further strengthened. Applied through a more contemporary lens, academic writing is professional re-tweeting.

In academic writing, one must gather relevant information and research from approved sources engaged in their fields. Applied through the lens of social media, this bears a resemblance to finding profiles whose ideas have received enough traction and acceptance to be considered valid.

After reviewing one's sources, one must scrutinize and find pertinent quotations to cite from the text of their choosing to bolster their academic writing. In parallel to social media, this is akin to finding the right tweets/posts to attribute with a retweet.

Finally, in academic writing, one must use the relevant information and ideas sourced to construct sound arguments for positions or opinions to bravely send forth into the world for review and consumption. When applied to the social media environment, this is similar to the act of sharing a comment or post while reposting another user's post as evidence for one's reaction or take.

At first glance, it does seem silly to liken social media to academic writing, but after closer inspection, it becomes clear that engaging in the former is the same as conducting work in the latter, same function but in different forms.