This post is aimed at academic writers who want to reach a wider audience than those in their discipline, but I hope that any writer could benefit from this. By nature, some books are only for general readers and some are only for academics. But more often than one might think, a book can reach both crowds simultaneously.
For example, I write books and articles about popular music with an extensive bibliography, a detailed index, lots of footnotes, tables, diagrams, musical examples, and explanations of chord progressions, musical forms, and harmony. Yet, I keep musical examples short and easy to follow if I can, so they will make some sense to people who don’t read musical notation. I keep my discussions of music theory brief and to the point. I prefer endnotes to footnotes or in-text citations to make reading easier on the eyes. My objective is to present as much detailed research as I can to my readers, without alienating or boring them.
Why should an academic writer try to reach a general audience?
Joanna & Tim
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