You have received an insult, a red ink smear. Your pages were branded inaccurate – all clever phrases deemed weak, all inventive punctuation refused. The stylish form you crafted (letting lyricism flow throughout the paragraphs, the perfect meet of fact and fantasy) has been noted as wrong; and the grade it’s received is far from the expected perfection. Your professor has named you instead a failure, and your paper is to be ignored by all.
There is far too great of an appeal is spicing history with sensationalism, in transforming dry text into a fascination. You wish to make writing interesting; and so you choose unexpected words and unique devices. You manipulate commas and colons. You change the accepted rules of grammar. This is not meant to be a slight against language. It’s instead to be an embracing of it. Your research is to become dynamic.
Too often, however, is it also to become a mistake.
Style over structure is a source of contention within the academic world. While most understand the desire to layer pages with the techniques of novels, more still understand the disaster this can bring – the purpose of a paper is lost, shaped into a fiction instead of a truth. It becomes an excess of punctuation changes and nonsensical ideas: entertaining but ultimately flawed.
It is therefore recommended that all writers choose to follow the established patterns, instead of forging new ones. While poetry and prose can allow you to experiment, research is meant instead to be given respect – and this includes taming all of your wilder grammatical instincts. The pages do not have to be brittle, simple recitations of statistics and percentages; but they do have to remain unbiased. Avoid the hyperbole and exclamations. The purpose is instead to convince through fact, not dazzle with empty style.