- "In an in depth analysis of evaluating the media, books, and articles in relation to production and reproduction, a critical examination will take place in attempt to explain possible oppositions and similarities." An awful lot of words to say nothing substantive whatsoever. This is a classic example of "paper speak," the ability to turn the simplest sentence ("I will now talk about production and reproduction") into a space filler in order to hit the required word count.
- "I also wish I could be reversible, but it is not." I think this has something to do with time. Frankly, I hope that I am *not* reversible, so all my guts don't fall out.
- "In 19__, the United States bombed Hirashima. With vengeance, Japan quietly sneaked on the United States and bombed Pearl Harbor, beginning World War II." This was offered as a paper topic proposal. Besides not knowing the year Hiroshima was bombed (nor did she spell it correctly), this student seems to have gotten World War II completely backwards. Even that overblown Michael Bay movie at least got the events in the right order.
- "Many people believe that the internet may be the reason why children do what they do, but how will we determine what to do about about it?"
And what would they be doing exactly? And what do we believe we should
do about the doing that they do? Doo-be-doo-be-doo? This
sentence is very vague and circular.
- "But it also shows that there is a solution, a cause and affect solution, and that nobody knows what the effect is going to be after the cause is already done." Somehow, the entire order of causality no longer makes any sense. After a cause, you cannot know the effect, even though it is a causal solution. But if effect does not follow cause, how can the solution be causal? Perhaps this student should team up with the one doing the Hiroshima argument above: maybe they will cancel each other out and time will right itself.
- "Sure it ended up being tragic and people had to start over an entire civilization, but why the negativity?" Talk about the glass being half full: this student can't seem to understand why tragedy and the collapse of civilization would upset anybody. All those post-apocalyptic mutants in caves just ought to get over it already.
- "Duke moves the story along, but it seems that the true plot or goal was to obliterate ones self and hope to find the way back to the hotel room at some point in the night." How about this money-saving scheme, culled from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: if you are obliterated, you do not actually need a hotel room any longer.
- "Ireland is completely filled and surrounded by alcoholics. All of the other countries in Europe are the same way." I discovered this gem of moral wisdom on a final exam written for a fellow professor. I picture a nation filled with cartoon drunken foreigners (all looking like Andy Capp) stumbling through the streets. No wonder European civilization never amounted to anything!
- "Even though the reasoning was due to the loss of a dear friend because of a worthless disagreement, there was no real reason as to why he had initiated the riot." So, there was a reason, but there was no reason? That sounds pretty unreasonable to me.
- "Your idea of a union was a very smart and intelligent one however a union must be started by an upper management in case corporate decides to hold someone accountable." This student is criticizing a writer who tried to start a union at her place of work. Follow this logic: only management can start a union, in order to make sure that the union is accountable to management. Now ask yourself: has any legitimate labor union in history ever been started by upper management?
- "I want someone who will look at me, not because I'm 'hot' but because I'm 'classy' or 'pretty.'" This student (from a final exam for
a colleague of mine), complaining about how men objectify women, has clearly absorbed the lessons of the Women's Movement -- and will settle for being seen as a less-sexy piece of meat than other women. You've come a long way, baby.
- "You say to yourself, how can I correct something that hasn't happened yet? Well, the answer is simple, you learn through experience to correct it." Um, if it hasn't happened, I haven't experienced it. So how can I learn to correct it? And how would I even know it was going to be a mistake if -- oh, my head hurts.
- "It was only 60 years ago that cars were introduced, along with dish washers, cellular phones, computers, and the internet." Wow, 1945 was a banner year, with all those soldiers coming home to their Model Ts and wireless laptops. Somebody here needs a history lesson.
- "I can compare disability to acne, although acne is not as horrible as being disabled it still can have a negative effect on the person that has it." From a student blogger, some wisdom about the social status of the disabled. Does the ADA require universities to stock Clearasil now?
- "As the other men begin to die, the mystery of "evil" becomes harder to solve because each suspect in almost every case was the next to be killed."
Startling logic: if you kill more than one person, each one is the next to be killed. Scientists call this "going in numerical order."
- “When the pirates arrived in the Bahamas two centuries later, Columbus was already gone.” Well, I certainly hope so. Can you imagine what he would smell like if he was still there? In the student's first version of this paper, the pirates arrived to actually chase Christopher Columbus off the island, until I pointed out that troublesome two century gap. This revised version from the student's portfolio now becomes a masterpiece of understatement.
- "I think Frankenstein was doomed from the beginning. He had no chance what so ever in being 'normal.' He failed because he was not good looking nor did it help that he was made from different deceased people." The award for Understatement of the Year goes to the assertion that Frankenstein's monster can't be normal because he is ugly -- oh, and by the way, also made out of corpses. Because we all have to have our priorities. For the record, earlier the student argues that ugly people are not really monsters but just have "informalities in their face."