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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Don't Do Dat!

I may have mentioned this before, but I'm not really sure which search terms would find the right post, so I'll simply mention it now, and perhaps again: If you are arguing in a paper or essay for controversial position X, do not throw in, as an aside, your support for controversial position Y.

Example: This paper intends to argue the accuracy of Marx's theory of the business cycle... We saw GDP growth after the Kennedy assassination (which, by the way, we all know was a conspiracy)...

The thing is, you might have been able to argue for your business cycle theory, since that you had an entire paper to do that. But you can't also argue for your Kennedy assassination theory in the same paper (without making it schizophrenic) and thus that will sit there as sheer assertion, and scare away some readers who you might otherwise have convinced.

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