Every once in awhile, the Chronicle, a magazine dedicated to all matters academia, actually comes up with something useful. In today’s case, it was a little blurb about how diversionary tactics in writing scare readers off. Carol Saller, an editor of the Chicago Manual of Style, offers tips on how to avoid those types of problems. For instance, in that last sentence, I introduced Saller with a little blurb that tells you a bit about her. As historians, I think we often forget to do that more than many other disciplines. Sure, we might know who Ramses II is (I don’t actually), or Nathaniel Greene (a Revolutionary War general who happened to win the southern campaign), but we need to remember that our readers often do not know these figures. After all, if our readers knew all about them, then why would we be writing about them? So, “Thanks” to the Chronicle.
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