SIU Department Name | Page Title

siu logo siupress logo

SIU logo


Main Content Area

Professional Academic Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Professional Academic Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Add to Cart

Susan Peck MacDonald


Paperback (Other formats: Hardcover)
250 pages, 5.5 x 8.5


Additional Materials

About the Book

In Professional Academic Writing in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Susan Peck MacDonald tackles important and often controversial contemporary questions regarding the rhetoric of inquiry, the social construction of knowledge, and the professionalization of the academy. MacDonald argues that the academy has devoted more effort to analyzing theory and method than to analyzing its own texts. Professional texts need further attention because they not only create but are also shaped by the knowledge that is special to each discipline. Her assumption is that knowledge-making is the distinctive activity of the academy at the professional level; for that reason, it is important to examine differences in the ways the professional texts of subdisciplinary communities focus on and consolidate knowledge within their fields.

Throughout the book, MacDonald stresses her conviction that academics need to do a better job of explaining their text-making axioms, clarifying their expectations of students at all levels, and monitoring their own professional practices. MacDonald’s proposals for both textual and sentence-level analysis will help academic professionals better understand how they might improve communication within their professional communities and with their students.


Susan Peck MacDonald has taught literature, writing, and technical writing at universities in Connecticut, Illinois, and California. Her publications have been on literature, writing in the disciplines, and variations within academic writing.