Daily Archives: June 20, 2008

Just in case you were wondering

To: Several of The Students Whose Essays I Am Currently Grading
CC: Anyone Who Might Ever Have Plans To Turn In an Essay to a University Campus Sometime Soon

I know that you’re a special unique snowflake and you probably tried so very hard on this essay, and that this is a summer course anyway and this assignment probably interrupted your patio time in the sun for at least a few hours the day before it was due.

However, since grading your assignment is taking time that I could be using to knit more cables or screw up some sock pattern, allow me to clarify one or two things.

1. When you adjust the margins from a standard 1-1.5 inches to 2.5 inches to boost your page count, I can tell. This will not make me think more charitably about the quality of your work.

2. When you list 10 sources in your bibliography and only refer to 5 of them in your essay, I can tell that, too. This makes me think even less charitably about your work than I did back in #1.

3. Proofreading. It’s not just for glamorous editorial assistants anymore. Just sayin’ you might want to try it once or twice.

4. If the assignment guidelines tell you about how you should not rely on internet websites, this is not, actually, an invitation for you to turn in a paper which uses ONLY internet sources and relies only on Wikipedia citations for two pages worth of text. O HAI, last-minute research.

5. Paragraph breaks. I hear a lot of people are using them these days. It’s not that I don’t find your 3-page run-on paragraph really impressive and entertaining, it’s just that sometimes I like to be able to follow some sort of, oh, organized train of thought when I’m handing out grades. I’m just putting that out there.

Thanks ever so much,

P.S. To the students who have so far violated none of these rules, please accept my undying affection and the hand-knitted sock of your choice. (You can have the 2nd sock if you repeat this virtue on the next assignment).

P.P.S. Double hand-knitted socks to the students who actually breathed air inside the library. I love you.


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