Soft Skill Seminar with George Gopen, Ph.D.

Location: Hörsaalgebäude HKW "Toaster", Room HKW 5, 6th Floor, Wüllnerstraße 1, 52062 Aachen

George Gopen, Ph.D. - Scientific Writing from the Reader’s Perspective

Professor Emeritus of the Practice of Rhetoric, Duke University, USA

Abstract

For more than two centuries, English teachers have impressed upon their students that in order to become good writers, they must make two major efforts: (1) to adhere to the rules for the language that Society has established over time; and (2) to avoid the perceived evils of bad writing – too many words, too many hard words, and too much use of the passive.  These societal rules are badly misapplied to language for two main reasons: (1) Rules and language use do not mix well, there being so many exceptions to the rules that make for better writing; and (2) suppressing those alleged symptoms of bad writing fails to treat the causes of bad writing.      

 Dr. Gopen’s workshop, “Scientific Writing from the Reader’s Perspective,” offers a whole new approach to understanding how the English language functions.  It explains how readers actually go about doing the act of reading, of interpreting, of turning the words on the page into ideas in their heads.  It is intended to give you new eyes.  Once you understand how a reader reads, you will be empowered to arrange each of your sentences so that they will best control your readers in their interpretational acts. Knowing what your readers expect from the language and learning how to manipulate the reading process, will, in turn, take you back into your own thinking process, to discover what might have been left incomplete or contradictory or just not clear.  

This is a new way to thing about English.  It can change you permanently, giving you the upper hand over most of your competition for grant funding and for publication. You will never see the language the same way again.