Medieval Woman has been grading papers and her experience is so similar to mine I that I must blog about it. I’m assuming that her students are writing about medieval literature and my students are writing about twentieth century American popular culture, but this phrase is so familiar. “Throughout history and extending into today, [insert assertion here; e.g. “women have been oppressed by society”]…”

Why do student write this kind of stuff? Tiruncula seems to think the answer is to ban certain phrases. If I started banning all annoying student phrases I would have a really long list, but I’m not sure it would solve the problem of poor writing/thinking. Is there an effective way to get them to stop?

Do they really think that these things have been happening throughout history? Do they lack the experience to know better? Should their instructor just point out that this statement is inaccurate? Should certain phrases be banned?

Although my writing is passable, my experience with writing instruction is somewhat limited. Often I’m able to say that something doesn’t work, but I’m not sure what exactly the problem is. I can correct the student, but have trouble explaining how they would go about avoiding the error in future writings.