This essay mixes styles: Is personal and scholarly

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Scholarly research, even within creative writing, is often bound by the highly conservative literary traditions of different disciplines. This essay employs the personal essay as a means of advancing a scholarly argument, through both form and content, that genre constraints within and between disciplines limit our recognition of scholarly and literary contributions that lie outside of accepted disciplinary genres. For example, the origins of the personal essay are often framed within the history of traditional established forms, such as the literary, scholarly or the journalistic essay. Rather than having a single lineage, however, contemporary personal essays may have diverse literary origins including, in this example, that of the popular scientific essay. Recognising the multifaceted origins of personal essays encourages writers from diverse backgrounds to use the form for their own purposes, allowing disciplines that may lack a popular voice, the capacity to reach a general audience, and engage in broader social debates. This recognition also illuminates our understanding of the ways in which different genres of writing, including creative and personal forms, can advance scholarly knowledge across a range of disciplines.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)307-316
    Number of pages10
    JournalNew Writing: The International Journal For The Practice and Theory of Creative Writing
    Issue number2
    Early online date2014
    Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2014


    • creative writing research
    • disciplinary communication
    • genres
    • personal essay
    • science writing
    • scientific essays


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