Thursday, April 20, 2006

Editorial Considerations

We have been getting a reasonable amount of original posts on the blog, which is good, but I have concerns regarding the quality of some of these. I’m not asking for literary masterpieces, but I do have a few requests. (I know that some of the contributors don’t want to hear this but I am going to politely suggest this anyway. Please note that none of these requests apply to Ad hominem, I don’t care what you do there.)

The Editor requests that you please:

Try to spell words properly. I know this is hard, but I’ve taken criticism for poor spelling in the past, and I don’t see why anyone else should get away with it. This is not that difficult and I will expect contributors to attempt this, for the initial post at least.

Pay attention to sentence structure and grammar. If you read a sentence aloud and you sound like a gibbering idiot having an acid flashback, it probably needs to be re-written. This is an aim that is probably less achievable in philosophy, since sometimes things can get a bit convoluted.

Be clear on how you are using words. If you are using an obscure word (or a common word) in a non-standard or obscure way, please indicate that you are doing so.

Think about how this will look to other people. I am happy for people to use this site as a way to speculate in ways that may not be well received in our academic work. New and unusual ideas are good. But in terms of the quality, as opposed to the content, of posts, we could stand to do a little better. I have read 1st year tutorial papers (that are student’s first attempts at academic philosophy) that are better in many of the above respects than some of the contributions that we host. This is not right, as many of our contributors are honours students or graduates.

We are one of the few ways in which Philosophy at the University of Newcastle connects to the Web in a way that a broader audience will see. I don’t want to give the impression to outside visitors that this institution churns out philosophy graduates who are borderline illiterate.

-Sam Douglas.

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