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  • Writer's pictureShriya Malhotra

Revisions: A Play on Critique

If the introduction doesn't draw the reader in, they will not read past the first page.

Wordiness is like speaking with marbles in your mouth.

If a sentence - when read aloud - is longer than 45 seconds, or if you have to pause while reading it, consider a bisect.

Update all of the data and analysis so as to be relevant and timely. How long is the reading time of the paper? In the era of diminishing memory and attention spans, do not be over ambitious. Or the paper will just end up a pdf that clogs someone's server or maybe a print out that is used creatively by a recycler. Perhaps their 3d origami interpretation will be great, and more useful, but one will never know.

Include the example of the role of water systems contamination and caste in Tamil Nadu from 1800s.

Add the epidemics and public health research in Japan from the same time period.

Balance the work with scholarship on visibility and visualisation from scholars, such as : Lao Tzu, Lily HM Ling, Tim Pachirat and others who explore the ways in which the knowledge hegemony can better examined, explained and balanced while using experimental research methods.

Repetition in song is different from repetition in a paper. Avoid using the same words even if it is for emphasis!

Syntax is a form of architecture, too.

Commas are not decorative.

Did you just say... wait, what did you just say? (If you ever end up in that situation, consider editing the sentence.)

The missing discipline here seems to be philosophy. Add in a section potentially about the work of Snow as being exemplary of an eastern inquiry ethic.

Bruno Latour is the sweetest philosopher, but a bit confusing--so definitely throw his work in to the mix. Since the title has the word conflating. However, there are limits and problems with his work too but they can be framed in terms of what is relevant to the paper.

John Dewey and his ideas about art and aesthetics are fantastic and relatively underknown; particularly his theories about art, communication and democracy.

Look at examples of urban planning and health to help frame the spatial analysis bit.

Amartya Sen is a really good example of writing that's academically relevant, but not cumbersome. He is also seemingly not a fan of footnotes.

Define aesthetics and art, and offer a broader encompassing definition of the importance of public health and its urban dimension.

The tone of a paper should be engaging and approachable not patronising and condescending. Don't let your work turn into the annoying google maps voice: everyone will avoid it.

Disciplinary boundaries can be marked with specific endnotes or overcome with word lassos and page numbers like an embedded linktree.

Your abstract is a knowledge stack that can be colour coded for easy understanding.

The article hashtags are like disciplinary silos.

Turn the paper into a word mercator projection to see the biases.

The conclusion should be both punchy and inspiring, but it must also leave you with questions and things to read further about -- consider offering a multimedia reading list. Or at the very least an email address.

Word salads or words strung together should communicate your idea -- that's the purpose of language, and if they do not, if they just act as a string of pearls then they ought to be revised. Sentences are a part of the network that comprise your paper.

Edit out unnecessary words. Consider the audience of readers: Students? Professors? Newbies? Bots? Will it ever even be read?

Throw in jokes and messages for the more seasoned academic skimmer or aggregator.

Consider the rights of your paper. Ensure that it rests, takes breaks and remains hydrated while you work together so that it doesn't just whither and die.

Convert your paper into different art forms to engage wide audiences. Open it up to engagement and inference by others.

Drawings are fantastic mind maps. Maybe the paper should become a roadmap.

Discover the negative spaces of your paper -- and stay there for a bit.

Music gives insight. Convert your paper into music and see what it feels like.

Consider the city as a body, as in the East Asian traditions or Accupuncture.

If this paper was a chopping board... no that's 2D. If this paper was a video game or a puzzle, create the roadmap to navigate it.

Reading is the final stop of the southwestern trains outside of London. However, unless you are British, you will probably pronounce it relatively wrong.

Never fear comments. Unless they are by bots and trolls, obvi. And of course rude. Comments add shape and texture to the work. An idea is just like a piece of clay beaten into submission by people's thoughts.

(To be continued)


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