“Dare to say I”

Heads up narrative researchers! Carol Swenson (professor emeritus, Simmons College) has delivered a compelling argument for allowing our selves to be present in our scholarly writing. Here’s the citation for her article:

Swenson, C. (2012). Dare to say “I”: The personal voice in professional writing. Families in Society, 93(3), 233-239.

The article as a whole is a satisfying read, but my favorite section addressed how we might evaluate narrative prose. Here, Swenson cites Laurel Richardson’s chapter, “Writing: A Method of Inquiry,” to offer five criteria (my interpretations added): substantive contribution (teaching something of value), aesthetic merit (beauty), reflexivity (presence of the author’s self),  impact (inspiring the reader to action), and expression of reality (truth and depth). A high standard. So much of the writing I read, as editor, as teacher, as scholar fails to meet even ONE of these criteria. This article meets all five.

I hope you’ll give it a look!

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2 Responses to “Dare to say I”

  1. Beatrice says:


  2. Ginny Richardson says:

    I really appreciate you sharing about this article because it seems like we’re both enjoying similar research these days. Love your postings! ginny