[Humanist] 29.459 how to structure an article in digital humanities?

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Nov 7 10:45:05 CET 2015

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 29, No. 459.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Fri, 6 Nov 2015 20:38:53 +0000
        From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
        Subject: how to structure an article

For some time I've thought that in at least some instances articles in
digital humanities strain against the conventional genre common to the
humanities. Conventionally, that is, articles present an argument that is we
read sequentially but is essentially timeless. Nothing remains of the
process that the author went through in doing the research -- nor would we
want it to. For an article in digital humanities, however, the process can
be a major part of what is communicated. That suggests a different genre.
Long ago I devised a guide for undergraduates to writing what I called an
"essay-report", in part derived from the structure of the standard lab
report (the example I used was from chemistry). But it would be good to know
what others have done. 

If anyone would like to see my attempt please send me a note.

I would assume we want a genre that both presents the argument as usual and
describes whatever the author did with the tools involved -- the experiment.
The trouble with many instances of the technical report is that it does
little more than fill out the blanks of a template. It's the results that
matter. There's a "discussion" section at the end but often not much by way
of historical background, theoretical discussion, reflection. I'd suppose
this is because the imperative of replication stands over the author,
frowning down on anything unique.

All suggestions most welcome.


Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/), Professor, Department of Digital
Humanities, King's College London, and Digital Humanities Research
Group, University of Western Sydney

More information about the Humanist mailing list