Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Compiling Writing Guidelines

I began compiling a writing guide for my students when they have to (get to) write papers for me.  After a few semesters of complaining and lamenting the state of the writing I was having to endure, I decided that I needed to be proactive.  I should give the students some reminders (or maybe first-time lessons for some) on basic writing rules.  I also included examples of bad writing.  Obviously, I'm not an English professor (if you've read my blog, you know this), but I think it's okay that I expect college students to use complete sentences when writing.  Here's an excerpt of the writing guidelines document I'm putting together.  The unfortunate (but amusing) part is that all of these examples are actual statements I've read in papers.

Avoid using informal or inappropriate language.
(In other words, do not write how you talk.)

“The Great Plains is known for having these crazy natural wind funnels.”

“The forest is very hot in the day and super cold at night.”

“This is so not the case.”

"Sensual Survival"
(Not sure what word the student intended to use instead of "sensual", but "sensual" does not describe a tornado.  At least, I'm pretty sure it does not.)

Edit your paper.
(In other words, do not simply run spell-check.)

“I realizes that the story of the floods and the state of the river itself is really interesting and defiantly something I want to look more into in the future.”

“I am researching the resent tornado that hit Joplin.”

“I couldn’t even phantom the devastation of that city.”

“Without science, we are left wondering what individual rolls play in nature.”


April said...

I've been there, and I feel your pain!! My favorite was the student who wrote that Bob Marley hurt his leg playing soccer and the injury resulted in cancer...whaaaa??? HA HA

Amanda said...

you need to blog about all the stuff you read in papers!

Amber said...

Sad thing is the students probably wouldn't even catch those errors if they did go back and proofread.

April said...


Amanda said...

hahaha so true Amber!

Annie said...

Oh my. Those are super....especially the sensual tornado.

Sole Doc said...


Sole Doc said...

that was me, Jacqueline. didn't know i was signed in as J.