Wednesday, June 11, 2008

How not to start an essay

An essay topic that students frequently choose is that of animal testing. It doesn't gladden my heart to find one of these essays in my marking pile.

The following opening paragraph isn't from my exam marking, just from an essay by one of my students. She's clearly trying her best to achieve the requisite word count and seems to feel that a full stop would interrupt her train of thought.


"Just let me ask you this, if your child or a relative may it be your mother, father, brother, sister, cousin, aunt, uncle or grandparent and they had a fatal brain tumour or cancer would you not let them get treatment so as they could possibly live a longer life, or would you see it that they died sooner just because you believe animal testing is wrong, although some may say "if that's what god intended then so be it" and would never let themselves or any family member be involved in anything to do with animal research."


I have thirty four exam scripts left to mark. Meanwhile the cats are doing a bit of relaxing.

14 comments:

Tanya Brown said...

Oh, dear. I feel for you.

I take it that the catlets are unaware of animal testing? Good.

Fairlie said...

"Just let me ask you this..."

I'm sorry, what was the question again?

Stomper Girl said...

Hmmm.

What is more important when you mark this stuff, the ideas expressed or the manner in which the ideas are expressed? Or is it even?

Zanna, travelling tart, back home in Central Queensland said...

Obviously the extended family is very important to this individual (or as you say maybe it just gets the word count up) Congratulations you're on the home straight now! Z xx

Rosemary Grace said...

Do the lounging catlets ease your overworked soul, or rub in the fact that you are not relaxing in the garden with a G&T?

Muddling Through said...

Your cats are beautiful! Our daughter has a solid white one (who jumped on my face to wake me up this morning, because obviously I should be up feeding him).

And I am a very novice quilter. So many mistakes. But I do love it.

Thanks for dropping by!
~Elaine~

Thimbleanna said...

Oh, you poor thing. That was a mouthful and more. Too bad the catlets can't help you do your marking!

Anne said...

Imagine reading that out aloud! It would have helped with the word count though:-)

riseoutofme said...

Poor Isabelle! But, as I suppose you're getting film-star wages for this ordeal, you have to look to the future .... PAYDAY ..... Anyway, I reckon you'd be bored lounging around with the tigers all day .... there's only so much lolling about a body can do before the mischief makers rear their knobbly heads ...

Gina E. said...

Why is it that the under 20's (and 30's?) don't understand the importance of punctuation in the written word? Although listening to them talk, they don't understand punctuation in the spoken word either...
Oh Isabelle, your cats are so beautifully relaxed. Topsy bit me again tonight. If I have to have another tetanus injection, she's going to go on a fast track to Kitty Heaven

Linds said...

I had my year 8s write an informal letter to a friend today in an English class. Hmmm. I don't think any of them had ever written a letter in their lives. They had to ask a the friend to take care of a pet for a night. Not one of them included the word "please".When I mentioned this, they sat there with blank stares. One said...Why? I wanted to bash my head against a wall. And then I had to remove chewing gum from a child's long hair. Just another day in paradise.....

meggie said...

Good grief. Having to read that, makes me feel tired.

Obviously the cats don't know about such things!

Jan said...

Lucky totally relaxed cats!

Lucy said...

You could let the cats use the essays as scratching posts, that would probably work as editing...

I think you could fill a blog with gems from your students!

Looking forward to hearing about the reunion.