You would think…

…that after being in my class for a semester my students would make DAMN sure to get the first sentence of their essays on the page without making any major stylistic or grammatical errors.

Of course, you’d think wrong.  What follows is a sampling of first sentences from the current batch of essays I’m grading…I don’t know whether to weep or gnash my teeth (laughing is right out).

“Charlotte Perkins Gilman, author of her most famous story, The Yellow Wallpaper.” [yep, that’s the opening ‘sentence’]

“Despite the fact that there are many characteristics we cannot discern about the narrator, the decision by the author to write in first person allows the reader to view the internal thoughts and emotions of the young sixth grade girl.” [which story?  which author?  It’s a mystery]

“It can be described that in the nature of life that each human enjoys his or her life on this physical world beyond its limit.” [huh?]

In the WAY too broad category: “The theme of any piece of literature is affected by many literary elements.”

more as I come across them…

“Happy Endings by Mary Atwood is not just any ordinary tragic tale of two lovers.” [short story title should be placed in quotation marks, plus the author’s name is Margaret]

“In the past two centuries the role of women in society has almostchanged completely.” [does no one look at little red squiggly lines anymore?]

“‘Personally, I disagree with their ideas’ (Gilman 572), traditionally not something you would have heard come out of a woman’s mouth in the late 1800’s.” [huh?]

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5 Responses to “You would think…”

  1. Seems like that’s a good idea for a blog…just re-publishing the ridiculous things our students say.

    My all-time favorite was written by a student about Macbeth:
    “Death eventually kills us all.”

    I’m not even playing.

  2. bigredpoet Says:

    I recently had “Cortez and his men could not commute with the Aztecs” and “During WWII, Navajo U.S. soldiers communicated telepathically.”

  3. That’s actually a great idea for a collaborative blog, E-Wok.

  4. Here’s a new one:

    “By using the word saw, he used Imagery to describe to us about what he saw.”

  5. another: “The Invisible Man goes back to the era when slavery has been abolished in America.”

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