"The art of writing is perhaps the most important skill the scholar ought to acquire, and it ought to be the subject of faithful attention and practice. But the student does not acquire it; he learns instead the honoured forms of drab discourse, the arid niceties of documentation, and the simple-headed regiments of a proper bibliography. All that he might learn of a really profound and meaningful kind about the nature of the discourse whose exercise will be a large part of his life is relegated to accident."
- Robert Plant Armstrong, "The Qualities of a Book, the Wants of a Dissertation," in The Thesis and the Book (ed. Eleanor Harman and Ian Montagnes; Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1976) 18.
Well, if that's not a kick in the butt, I don't know what is.