You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

How 'not' To Get An A

by Eric Rauchway

2006 Ig Nobel for Literaturean article
most of us can likely recall having read papers, either by colleagues or students, in which the author appears to be deliberately using overly complex words. Experience suggests that the experts' advice contrasts with prevailing wisdom on how to sound more intelligent as a writer. In fact, when 110 Stanford undergraduates were polled about their writing habits, most of them admitted that they had made their writing more complex in order to appear smarter. (139)
The results ... suggest that contrary to prevailing wisdom, increasing the complexity of a text does not cause an essay's author to seem more intelligent. In fact, the opposite appears to be true. (141)
one is forPTDR