Studies in Humanist Thought and Praxis
edited by Anthony B. Pinn, Director of Research for the Institute for Humanist Studies
The series examines the history, nature, function, and implications of humanism. It includes short polemics by major scholars, sustained examinations of how humanism can shape and illuminate particular issues, and survey texts covering specific aspects of humanist thought and life.
STYLE SHEET FOR CONTRIBUTORS TO STUDIES IN HUMANIST THOUGHT AND PRAXIS SERIES
Writing for Your Readers
- The first thing to remember at all times is that you are writing for an international readership. The likely geographical spread of your readers will be 35% North America, 35% UK, 20% Northern Europe and Australia, and 10% Rest of the World. This spread should shape what and how you write.
- The second thing to remember is that your readers are most likely to be students. Do not write with either scholars or general readers as your exclusive anticipated readership as neither will be the case. The series is published by Equinox which is an academic press and they promote their paperback books chiefly to a student readership. This pitch/level should also shape what and how you write.
Chapters Built Around Case Material
Bearing in mind the above two points…
- If your chapter uses a range of case studies to illustrate its argument, try to include some examples from countries other than your own even if you have to draw on secondary sources. Also utilise the writing strategies outlined in the point below.
- If your chapter is largely based around a single case study, be very careful to contextualise that study at the start of the essay in your introduction. In the middle of the essay, keep the points noted below in mind. And, at the end of the essay, draw out any implications and try to make any constructive connections with broader themes and other places. Try and keep a student in another country in your mind as the reader for whom you are writing.
Things to Avoid
- Unexplained references to legislation, public policy, or political structures. These don't have to be avoided if they are intrinsic to an argument but they need to be adequately explained or glossed. Your concern must be always to keep your international readers with you.
- Don't assume that all your readers are familiar with your country's geography, history and culture. While it is fine to refer to LA, Istanbul or Edinburgh, readers will need an additional geographical reference if you are referring to Peoria, Izmir, or Whitstable. Terms like Reaganite or Thatcherite are likely to be well enough understood as markers of time but may well be too shorthand if you are trying to communicate something cultural or political to international readers.
- Do not write the essay in the first person – unless the essay is commissioned as a piece specifically about your own experience. This will help you create the essay as a neutral/objective space between you and the reader.