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Author Topic: Student Sentences, Spring 2011 edition  (Read 162813 times)
proftowanda
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"Righter of wrongs, queen beyond compare."


« Reply #330 on: April 17, 2011, 11:47:35 PM »

Manifest Destiny antedated Social Darwinism by several decades; that wind was blowing for a long, long time.

It's a long corridor, geoteo; get with the program.

In the end, the paper wasn't so bad. It just tried--and failed mightily--at incorporating rhetorical flourishes. In that way, it's like another paper in this batch, which tries desperately for (entirely unnecessary) melodrama. For example, did you know that "the color line was an incredibly terrible beast"?



I am envious.  I read too much of the too-conversational valley-girl talk put to paper.   I would see "So then she goes, like, the color line was an incredibly terrible beast.  And so then he goes, well, Social Darwinism and Manifest Destiny became popular beliefs.  But I feel like that both are so wrong, and those are like my feelings."

O.K. I'm seriously curious. As someone who may eventually find myself dealing with carp like this, I seriously want to know what, if anything at all, you make as comments. I can deal with commenting on grammar and spelling, logic and organization, but this stuff: hyperbole, created  metaphors that don't work, overly-florid writing... Please spill. If I have to deal with it, it will, most likely, be as a tutor, but those that I tutor deserve my best insights--and I can't say, even if I'm correct, "Wow! That sentence sucks!" I simply don't know how to word a critique on something like this --I can identify it as poor phrasing, or over-reaching, but I'm just not sure how to go about critiquing it. Technically, it works. It's just bad, or badly worded.

I'd seriously be interested in hearing the comments you actually make (or might make, keeping the comedy going) about some of these sentences, if you'd be willing to share--similar to what happens in "favorite e-mails". I have to think that seeing those comments might be helpful to other newcomers to the profession, too.

How to deal with such c*ap is difficult for me, as I refrain from serious drinking.  Tonight, I am working through a pile of preliminary papers aka drafts, and I am so weary of seeing the passive voice overandoverandoverand. . . .

Ahem.  I generally slash through a lot of the padding -- the "he goes, and she goes, and he goes" blather -- and note "tighten writing" on early assignments.  If the problem continues, a student may see "is this padding?"  But if such problems continue on a widespread basis, and after the class and I have established a level of trust, I have been known to get a bit goofy to make memorable for students just how sorry is such writing.  

By getting a bit goofy, I mean that I can mimic valley-girl talk rather flawlessly, taking both parts of a conversation by airheads, replete with dozens of "likes," "ya knows," "as IFs," etc., while  tossing my (graying) hair, sighing, rolling eyes, etc.  (Having survived a teenaged daughter helped to train me in the theatrics.)  

And once a class has heard my Las Vegas-lounge-lizard rendition of the song "Feelings" (while, in true lounge-lizard style, working the aisles with my mic in hand and stopping to ask "where ya from?  where ya from?") usage of the verb "I feel" tends to decline.  If you heard me sing that awful song, you never would write "I feel," again, either.  Or so I think.:-)

Btw, I do lead with praise first for the worthy aspects of students' work.  And when I comment on widespread problems to the entire class, I note that this is owing to the problem being widespread.  No one is singled out. 

Not that this always works to greatly improve students' writing.  But we win this war one student and one clearly written paper -- or even paragraph -- at a time, with those students willing to spend the time to improve.
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mystictechgal
Happy in my "full, rich adulthood", and as a
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Posts: 16,278

One step at a time


« Reply #331 on: April 18, 2011, 12:23:17 AM »

Thanks. I'll probably be using some of the advice I've seen here when I speak with my project partner about making use of the writing center. Something along the lines of, "Your ideas are good [and his often are], but your writing isn't helping you express them in a way that is understandable." is probably on the list. He's trad-age and, of course, I'm not his professor, so using humor is probably out.

Both the other woman and I (we who are doing the actual writing) do not want to offend him by totally rewording his contributions, so I did, somewhat reluctantly, allow one "researchers felt" sentence to stand when he was describing how researchers at that other place decided to go about something, but I did remove their feelings from the following sentence. (Both should have been replaced with "decided" or "determined", or some such, but... Oh well, something of his needed, we thought, to be left intact, and at least it was a full and comprehensible sentence--one of the few.)

On the plus side, he recognizes that he has issues with writing well. Perhaps hearing from fellow students, not just from his professors, that he should make use of the writing center will prompt him to do so. Ours is good. They won't write it for him, but they will hold his hand as tightly as necessary (or he allows) to teach him to write. As my partner in writing said, he's already paying for it, he might as well use it.

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melba_frilkins
Doing laundry.
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« Reply #332 on: April 18, 2011, 4:02:00 AM »

It should be okay for men to cry but yet our society holds men up on a petal a stool.
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dr_alcott
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« Reply #333 on: April 18, 2011, 7:41:27 AM »

It should be okay for men to cry but yet our society holds men up on a petal a stool.

Now this is the reason to check out this thread first thing in the morning. Great to start the day with a guffaw.

Now, I'm going to see if my husband is off his petal a stool yet . . .
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You must be your own snow, Dr_Alcott.  You must lift, and sparkle, and then melt away.

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concordancia
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« Reply #334 on: April 18, 2011, 10:16:53 AM »

It should be okay for men to cry but yet our society holds men up on a petal a stool.

Now this is the reason to check out this thread first thing in the morning. Great to start the day with a guffaw.

Now, I'm going to see if my husband is off his petal a stool yet . . .

Wait, I thought that didn't smell like roses!
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llanfair
Still reading past her bedtime and Very
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Posts: 31,349

Whither Canada?


« Reply #335 on: April 18, 2011, 3:52:28 PM »

It should be okay for men to cry but yet our society holds men up on a petal a stool.

Now this is the reason to check out this thread first thing in the morning. Great to start the day with a guffaw.

Now, I'm going to see if my husband is off his petal a stool yet . . .

Wait, I thought that didn't smell like roses!

Sooo glad I'm not the only one who had this thought :)
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Stop looking for zebras when the horse is already standing on your foot.
lonelylondoner
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« Reply #336 on: April 18, 2011, 3:56:30 PM »

"Film is an art form that has been with us for hundreds of years."

...really? I'd love access to those archives.
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bibliothecula
Academic ronin
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like Bunnicula, only with books


« Reply #337 on: April 18, 2011, 8:54:10 PM »

"The world of hymnology can be tough and similar to Darwin’s Origin of Species, only the strongest, and sometimes the lucky, will survive."

The whole paper reads like this.
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I came. I saw. I cited.
concordancia
Distinguished Senior Member
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Posts: 13,889


« Reply #338 on: April 18, 2011, 9:20:24 PM »

"The world of hymnology can be tough and similar to Darwin’s Origin of Species, only the strongest, and sometimes the lucky, will survive."

The whole paper reads like this.

Oh, please tell, me what is a strong hymn? The sorrowful Easter ones? The glorious Christmas ones?
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dr_alcott
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« Reply #339 on: April 18, 2011, 9:22:53 PM »

Sex is how humans reproduce, but today it is being used as a pastime.

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You must be your own snow, Dr_Alcott.  You must lift, and sparkle, and then melt away.

I love everyone here!
tee_bee
I've really made it in academe, now that I am a
Distinguished Senior Member
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Posts: 4,556


« Reply #340 on: April 18, 2011, 9:32:13 PM »

Sex is how humans reproduce, but today it is being used as a pastime.



Ha! For your students, maybe. I my middle-aged, married with kids, nowhere-near-enough hours in the day phase I should be so lucky. I use the fora as a pastime.
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bibliothecula
Academic ronin
Distinguished Senior Member
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Posts: 5,169

like Bunnicula, only with books


« Reply #341 on: April 18, 2011, 9:33:54 PM »

"The world of hymnology can be tough and similar to Darwin’s Origin of Species, only the strongest, and sometimes the lucky, will survive."

The whole paper reads like this.

Oh, please tell, me what is a strong hymn? The sorrowful Easter ones? The glorious Christmas ones?

The student is writing--or rather, trying to write--about muscular Christianity. But he never defines it and has garbage like this everywhere. I told him countless times to go to the writing center, and even to drop, but oh no....
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I came. I saw. I cited.
concordancia
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 13,889


« Reply #342 on: April 18, 2011, 9:43:50 PM »

"The world of hymnology can be tough and similar to Darwin’s Origin of Species, only the strongest, and sometimes the lucky, will survive."

The whole paper reads like this.

Oh, please tell, me what is a strong hymn? The sorrowful Easter ones? The glorious Christmas ones?

The student is writing--or rather, trying to write--about muscular Christianity. But he never defines it and has garbage like this everywhere. I told him countless times to go to the writing center, and even to drop, but oh no....

Is muscular Christianity something I should google or just go ahead and sympathize with you over?
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tee_bee
I've really made it in academe, now that I am a
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 4,556


« Reply #343 on: April 18, 2011, 9:51:30 PM »

"The world of hymnology can be tough and similar to Darwin’s Origin of Species, only the strongest, and sometimes the lucky, will survive."

The whole paper reads like this.

Oh, please tell, me what is a strong hymn? The sorrowful Easter ones? The glorious Christmas ones?

The student is writing--or rather, trying to write--about muscular Christianity. But he never defines it and has garbage like this everywhere. I told him countless times to go to the writing center, and even to drop, but oh no....

Is muscular Christianity something I should google or just go ahead and sympathize with you over?

Or perhaps a rousing rendition of "Onward Christian Soldiers" would help elucidate the concept?
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concordancia
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 13,889


« Reply #344 on: April 18, 2011, 9:54:54 PM »

"The world of hymnology can be tough and similar to Darwin’s Origin of Species, only the strongest, and sometimes the lucky, will survive."

The whole paper reads like this.

Oh, please tell, me what is a strong hymn? The sorrowful Easter ones? The glorious Christmas ones?

The student is writing--or rather, trying to write--about muscular Christianity. But he never defines it and has garbage like this everywhere. I told him countless times to go to the writing center, and even to drop, but oh no....

Is muscular Christianity something I should google or just go ahead and sympathize with you over?

Or perhaps a rousing rendition of "Onward Christian Soldiers" would help elucidate the concept?

For the rest of the curious souls - there is such a thing as muscular Christianity.
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I like money.  I like to buy stuff and experiences with money.  
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