I wonder if this happens with all double majors or people that take a lot of classes in different disciplines. But I am developing a completely different writing style for Art History paper than I usually do for English papers.
I just got back my first upper-level Art History paper ever (eek!) and I did really well on it, which I wasn’t too worried about because it was a small assignment and something I was really interested in. But the comments! My favorite was “clear and concise.” I am the least clear and concise person I know. I think in compound-complex sentences, one right after other. I am a big fan of the dependent clause on top of dependent clause.
Still, as I reread my paper with the comments, I realized that I think about Art in a clear and concise way. I make observations and then state what they mean and then develop the ideas further. In English papers, I wiggle back and forth into a meaning in a first draft, and then I have to iron it out a lot on revisions because I know my long sentences don’t make sense.
I thought maybe this happened because I learned how to look at Art critically later in life. I’ve always read Literature in a critical way, explaining my disdain for YA novels that I found useless and trite. So I don’t have a “literature” mindset. It is just how my mind works. But when I am writing about Art, I have not only think things but think about how to express them.
EDIT: My first poetry paper was just described as “clear and systematic!” Maybe it isn’t just Art History after all…