Editor’s Note

Tortoise: A Journal of Writing Pedagogy is an annual journal that publishes excerpts of student scholarship from within the Princeton community. Showcasing writers from all disciplines and levels—both Princeton undergraduate and graduate students—we emphasize the writing process as much as its “finished” product.

Tortoise publishes excerpts of exemplary academic writing with reflective commentaries on the research and writing methods underpinning the prose. Our ambition at Tortoise is not only to share student writing with a wider audience but also to demonstrate how it works and how it was developed.

Our Spring 2020 issue, entitled “Top-notch Tactics,” is a compilation of excerpts (as well as one full-length feature piece) each of which poses a different answer to the question,

What does it look like when you get down to the nitty gritty of writing a paper?

Whether this answer takes the form of a discussion of the role of “close looking” in a paper on film — comments on developing a thesis in a Woody Woo policy recommendation — thoughts on the role of exposition in mathematics — or anything in between, our authors and editors delve into the many small tactics that take us from an idea to an outline to a finished piece.

I would like to add a special note of thanks to our authors, editors, the staff of the Writing Center, and everyone else who helped to make this issue possible. We all know that this semester has been anything but what we expected, and that any number of things fell by the wayside in the general hubbub. I think I speak for the entire Tortoise staff when I tell you how happy we are that we are able to present this issue to you today nevertheless. Again, I would like to send out a very heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed to this issue and helped bring it to where it is today. We hope you enjoy the issue!