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Who You Are and What You Say: “Platform” and Writing May 1, 2012

In any discussion of writing (particularly writing in order to be published), the conversation comes back to platform.  You may not have heard that term for it, but “platform” refers to how the author wishes to present themselves.  In the publishing world, this usually means the author’s credentials, where they “fit” into a few conventional categories, and what makes them worth listening to.  You can’t just be a cookbook writer anymore, you have to be Joe Writer, winner of these various national awards and ruler of a social media empire, comparable to this Food Network personality.  “Platform” sounds pretty shallow, but consider the meaning in politics.  Politicians talk about platform all the time to discuss their positions on various issues, and what makes their ideas worthy of your time.  Platform determines how the reader (or the voter) sees you, and affects how they react to your writing.  It’s worth considering, then, how paying attention to your “platform” in academic writing can help you connect with your reader (or professor) most effectively. (more…)