I really, really wish I could make my students read their papers aloud before turning them in. I mean, before correcting stupid errors and then turning them in. I urge this course upon them, but mostly to no avail. And it’s too late now. Too late in the semester: I need to get this batch graded and back to their writers. So said writers will have to live with their extra words, missing words, wrong authors’ names, and so on.

I don’t have much patience with sloppiness. There is a clear difference between the occasional typo, which I may forgive, and regular patterns of error, which I do not. And while you can’t correct problems you don’t recognize as problems (semi-colons are not commas! and vice versa!), surely a run-through could fix a sentence like “I wish could make my read their papers.”

I want my students to get good grades, I really do. So I hope some of them make it possible.


One thought on “Grading angst

  1. Ah, the "reading aloud" trick. I recommend this one to my student all the time and they look at me like I'm nuts. I suspect it has to do with the fact that they compose every thing on their computers — something about the digital nature of their papers removes them from the world of sound, so they cannot even imagine reading their writing aloud.Too bad, too — because it works!

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