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« Two Brief Reviews | Main | You want bad? We've got bad. »

May 31, 2005



I've been doing a lot of grading for upper-division undergrads, and I evaluate papers on grammar and content. I've gotten some, well, resistance is a little too strong of a word, let's say, interest in why I fold grammar into a paper grade. I believe this is another angle of what you are saying. Even the students don't seriously expect that they have to create grammatically passable sentences, to say nothing of style. I’m certainly no expert, but I think grammar and style should always be taken into account in a paper grade from day one until graduation.


Amen, sistah!

A couple of years ago, when I taught an Intro to Women's Studies class, I had an upper-level Psych major complain that I graded on "MLA format," which was inappropriate in a non-English class. I didn't, in fact, and was mightily confused. Some investigation revealed the truth: what she meant was that I was grading on form, period, in addition to content. Apparently, paragraphs and semicolons are arcana exclusive to the Modern Language Association.

One more reason why I think it's imperative to get Comp out of the English department: writing IS an across-the-curriculum skill -- but to have it there in the catalog, clearly labelled as "English 101," taught only by English professors, gets the message across to students pretty clearly that only English types know or care about how to write.


Fish has always made it a point to teach some composition courses.

At Duke, the courses he used to teach were pretty ferocious. Interestingly, they were the exact opposite of this one -- nearly all "content."

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