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Throw Back Thursday: Research Paper Woes Part III

I collected more of these horrific research paper quotes while I taught tenth grade English (the advanced kids, mind you) than I realized.  It looks as though I’ll have to create one more post of them after this one.  Enjoy.  Again, students will remain anonymous and I will include my original commentary from when I posted these quotes on Facebook.

A paper on why the legal drinking age should be lowered: “They would not need to drink a lot for fear they won’t drink again for a reasonable length of time, they can drink every night if they wanted so they don’t need to get unreasonably wasted.” If these people under 21 feel they “need to drink,” I think we really NEED to send them to AA now. And how long is the reasonable amount of time one should expect to go without a drink? A few sentences down: “Similarly, the younger you start, the better you learn.” I should have started drinking when I was younger. I’d be an expert by now and these papers would be so much more bearable.
What all this makes me picture

What all this makes me picture

“In addition to drinking in high school another reason the legal drinking age should be eight teen [this statement after the entire paper has said it should remain at 21] is that alcohol can cause much damage not only to the brain but the brain too, physically and mentally.” Too late for this one? Seems the author has some damage already.
“After all many consider the main reason that the alcohol consumption age should be twenty one.” So, is she missing naming the main reason, or are people just considering it in a sort of broad way? “In the event that alcohol is consumed at an early age many problems can occur. The brain does not fully develop until the early twenties.” Now I feel like she’s just making excuses for this paper.
I have a rule that I will not grade a research paper if the kids do not prove their work to me as we go through the process. One kid decided to turn in a paper anyway, though he had shown me nothing the whole time. Out of curiosity, I checked the word count and it was 393 words out of the 1500-2250 required. Really? Why bother at all when I told you I wasn’t going to grade it anyway? You could have spent that 10 minutes playing video games or something.
“True facts state…” Uhhh… what other types of facts are there?
Confusing research paper quote of the evening: “On the other hand, those not capable of working at the time being soon cannot leave that lifestyle, and somewhat ‘forget’ how to function without assistance.” Anyone? I need some assistance.
“Multiple statistics show that the earlier age one starts drinking alcohol at the more apt they are to become alcoholic later in life.” A simple placement of “an” in front of alcoholic would completely change this sentence for me, but now I have to assume if one starts drinking early in life, he/she will eventually become alcoholic in composition. You are what you drink?
“To stop these illegal stays in the border security should be more difficult to slip past.” Yeah, I don’t know what it means either, nor do I believe the student who wrote it knew what he was saying.
From a paper written on why the U.S. should be stricter on immigration and make it harder for people to achieve it legally as well: “Maybe a example of the laws being too lenient is that were US citizens that can not speak english. We allow people who don’t speak our native language into the US…” Uh, Dude, I think you make a good case for checking to see if our native born citizens can speak (or write) our native language. Maybe if we could kick out those, we could make room for legalized citizens because, sadly, they usually know a heck of a lot more about our country than many naturally born here.
“With this law, a majority of African Americans, Hispanics, Mexican, and etcetera will face consequences because of their color and ethnicity.” Written about the immigration law in Arizona and the fact that illegal immigrants can be sent home.
“Many Americans don’t holey agree with stem cell research and they have seem to have a reasonable argument that supports their thinking.” I wholly have seem to have become confused.
The conclusion of a paper all about dress code: “It is stated by 65% of drug addicts that are still alive and or have not gotten over their addiction that they wish they would have known what they know now and one person in their life would have told them not to do it and kept pushing them away from it.”
“This also means that if the person was going to die in fourteen years anyway, he or she may die before executions, and then he or she can kill without the worry of execution, even if they were not going to escape in the appeals courts anyway.”
“…in one year 6.2 million students drop out between the ages of 16 and 24.” So it would appear that 24 year-olds are high risk high school students, I guess.
The following three quotes all came from different parts of the same paper, so you’ll notice a theme:
‎”It already troubles lawyers trying to satisfy the practice in court as normally only the defendant and the dead person knows exactly what happened, and this takes away from any chance of a miracle recovery.” Indeed, that recovery would be QUITE a miracle!
“The patients who become killed feel better and the family members and friends get over the death more quickly.”
My personal favorite: “Many people want to give up their lives because in doing so they also give up organs that came straight from a living person instead of a person who not to long ago was dead.” Kids these days are just too obsessed with zombies.
Quote of the day: “But teenager always ten to surprise people when it comes to getting activities done, so it can get seceded.” By the way, in the context of the paper, “seceded” was meant to be “succeeded.” I know both are bad, but I thought I’d throw that out there in some sort of defense. However, I wish this paper has seceded from the rest.
“In the modern age, some subjects receive more scrutiny and debate than others. This includes the salaries of sports stars possibly being too great, the ethics of cloning animals or even people, and the toleration of animals and, mostly, people. This last topic in particular often draws purely black-and-white statements and general discretion, as many opinions and points of view exist on the subject.” Down with the toleration of people!
Geography has been sadly neglected in education these days. “As a basic example, one of the main issues in countries such as Asia, Africa, and other countries, states how conventional food production will feed the expanding population.”
“Drugs and sex make for a very healthy responsible adult!” Fortunately, a rough draft.
“Overall, students need a health class within their years of high school, so that they could learn to prevent themselves giving into temptations involving sex, drugs, and other factors that guide a student into developing into a healthy, responsible adult.” Again, happy it was a rough draft.
Oh boy! Looks like I’m going out in style today: “Umbilical cord stem cells may have have have to wait for new technology before equality to embryonic stem cell, but technology has already advanced other types of stem cells.” Have have have you proofread your work lately?

 Look for more quotes in a few weeks.


Throw Back Thursday: Research Paper Woes Part II

Last week I promised more research paper quotes from my high school teaching days.  Again, I am including my commentary from my original sharing on Facebook. Again, the identities of the students will remain anonymous.

Let me start with a little something from another homework assignment just to get you in the right frame for mind for the actual research paper quotes.

  • Only a few more weeks of research papers and homework answers like this: “I think that the statement applies to [Antigone’s] situation because density is fate and her future is still unknown.” Handwritten- no spell check.
FB friend: “The real question is: does Antigone float? Or is her density going to change her fate to drowning?”
FB me:  “You bring up an interesting point. Perhaps she is a witch, in which case we will also need a duck.”
  • “Like the saying, people really do only have one life to live, and no one would want to add more death causers to the world than there already occurs.”
  • “Also, man parents go crazy just because two of their kids argue fight over a toy.”
  • Usually when a student wants to write his paper on euthanasia it is about whether the terminally ill should be able to resort to this or not. I have a student with a new take on it, and it scares me: “First of all, euthanasia of humans would be conducive to a more healthier society of humans because the terminally sick would be taken care of, the mentally ill would be dealt with before they become a problem, and people with certain disabilities will also be eliminated from the community.” Hitler had a similar system beyond just what he had done to the Jews. Do I sign this kid up for counseling or try to talk to him myself?
  • More from the above paper: “After wheels start rolling [I hope this is metaphorical and not a tank or something] for euthanasian becoming legal and American becoming a healthier nation; the costs of certain things will go down and there will be more money in the country’s pocket.” I’m usually fairly objective when I read these papers, but I don’t think I can ethically do that this time. Yikes!
  • A quote out of one of the better introductions I’ve graded so far: “Technology, since then, evolved over many years giving people the ability to achieve feets unimaginable.” For the record, kid, I don’t like feet, so I can imagine all kinds of scary stuff, but I think you meant feat and want to rearrange your punctuation a bit.
  • “Smoking causes limitless amounts of death than all other forms of dieing combined,” said a student.
  • “As a result of alcohol being a depressant, it is more likely to become aggressive when intoxicated, than to become a “happy drunk.” I cannot stress enough the importance of clarity in pronouns.
  • “Death is not something people, as human beings, want to neither experience nor be responsible for.” First of all, what else would people be if not human beings? Next, if death is not something they want to neither experience nor do, then they do want to experience and do it, right? It’s so cryptic.
  • “I have seen too many runaways that were not fixed and liters of puppies/kittens that end up sick or in shelters.” So, we are measuring animals via the metric system now? Aren’t liters for liquid measurement though?

kitten in a glass

  • More student stuff I am confused about: “Antagonists roar that drones are against the back bone [elsewhere in paper written as the one word it should be] of the society of the United States and breaking that would be crumbling the country… The debate of drones could be in the sky over the United States or stored for only emergency use.” I guess you never know when you may need to pull the debate out of the sky and use it.
  • No words for this: “This negatively effects the students because students look up to and rely their teachers, especially when the students find the teacher “cool,” but then losing the teacher and getting another one after only about 3 months…One that just started teaching and feels too scared of the kids to do anything with them and they end up doing book work the rest of the year, or the teacher does not feel scared of them but acts mean, rude, and has negative attitudes towards them, and then ends up ignorantly giving the nicest kids referral for something ridiculous and not even wrong or their fault and getting the hard-headed, but still good, kids suspended for expressing their feelings about the situation.”
  • “Even though society makes valid points, the matter at hand, should never create an issue today, tomorrow, or in the future.” Isn’t tomorrow part of the future?
  • “Opposing views claims that Censorship may not seem as terrible as it seems.”
  • In honor of the whole “May the 4th be with you” stuff, I am sharing a student quote apparently inspired by Yoda: “Great pride and joy parents experience from their children.” This is the opening sentence. Much promise this paper shows!
  • More paper logic: “Using other organisms could save many animal lives and also find cures for humans. However, killing animals and saving humans has the same results as saving an animal and killing a human, both have one creature killed.”
  • “Getting caught with drugs will stay with a person forever, because they will always be labeled as having a wrap sheet.” After all, no one uses wrapping paper anymore- just buy a gift bag!
  • “If the world could get over the African American being slaves and except them into society then why not people of homosexual play. They are just like everyone else they just like the same sex.”
  • Oh, children, learn your documents before you start quoting them in your papers. “The pursuit of happiness, one of the inalienable rights written in the US Constitution,” (yes, it’s also a fragment) was actually written in the Declaration of Independence.
  • “Due to smoking, smokers tend to die five to ten years earlier than those who do not. This can be especially harmful if smokers had previous problems in the area that smoking can cause to begin with.” The last part confused the snot out of me, but probably mostly because I was thinking about how especially harmful dying can be. Also, I suppose smokers who smoke would likely die before the smokers who do not smoke… but again, I am confused.
  • Sure, it’s a great idea to begin a paragraph in the middle of your paper with, “To conclude with…” Why not?

FB friend:  “Could be an extra long conclusion?”

FB me:  “No, but two separate paragraphs falsely promised to be conclusions, unfairly giving me hope it would end soon, and then I found a random paragraph tacked onto the end that should have been somewhere in the middle. I’m so confused right now.”

To conclude, that’s my genuine conclusion of these quotes… until next Thursday.



Throw Back Thursday: Research Paper Woes

Every spring for the last five years before this one, thankfully, I had to grade sophomore research papers. For the first couple years, I suffered in silence, crying within. Then, I started posting the absurd quotes from these papers on Facebook, with full anonymity to the authors, of course. I only disclosed that these were research paper quotes from the advanced English students.  These quotes became popular, and Facebook friends began asking early on how long it would be before I would grade these papers.  I would even let the anticipation grow by giving updates to when the papers were due. I wish I had kept more of my students’ work earlier on, but this will have to do.

cant eat homeowrk

Whether through errors in grammar or mechanics, fault in logic, odd word choice, or lack of common sense, here are some of my student-induced research paper woes.  Enjoy.  You might want to pee first. I have also included some of my FB commentary of how I introduced the quotes and such.

  • From a paper on why juveniles should not be tried as adults: “Alan Simpson’s rehabilitation [for destroying federal property as a child] demonstrates how the juvenile system works and how a child committing criminal activities can be changed. That child can then contribute greatly to society like becoming a senator.” Let that one sink in a bit… But how are senators different from criminals?
  • “With the only open space existing on top of their home, some homeowners attempt to install wind turbines on their roof, but the danger and impracticality of this unrecommended installment far outway the reward.” Oh, come on! Correctly spelling/using outweigh would have added to the humor as a pun, yet you failed to take advantage to fail in style. FAIL.
  • “Deep space is not a priority in the American nation recently…” Can we just say the United States, please? So awkward! Besides, there are other ‘American nations.’
  • “Think about it, the thought of sitting next to adult criminals in a jail cell that done murder, to a teenager can be terrifying.” That murdering jail cell!
  •  “When people think of the most prevalent cause of death, they may think of a serial killer, but that is not the case.” Really? Are there a lot of people out there paranoid enough to think serial killers take more lives than anything else?
  • I have never claimed to be a math genius; however, I sense a math error in this quote: “Lowering the legal drinking age from eighteen to twenty-one will reduce accidents.” Too late.
  • I get the sentiment and all, but this seems a bit extreme: “In addition to this, smoking can kill anyone at any given time.” Anyone! Any time! Scary! More than serial killers?
  • A paper against the use of animal experimentation: “Other organisms will have more benefits then using animals. For example, scientists can use microorganisms, vertebrates, and invertebrates.” Yes, use those pesky vertebrates instead of animals. ??? Elementary school science class anyone?
  • “You say, ‘Well how do violent video games relate to the real life?’ Violent games can affect a normal person to even a mental person.” I would appreciate a definition of a “mental person,” because I’m wondering if my beating my head on the table when I read these papers counts.
  • I found out what the student meant by “mental person.” “The person may begin to yell or raise their voices [it’s never good when it’s one person with multiple voices] towards another person…also, the person may start to verbally hurt themselves [again, one person verbally assaulting their plural selves is never a good sign], because the guilt gets to them.”
  • Closing argument, same paper yet again: “Therefore, people should be careful with choosing the games they play, or if they can, stop buying them at all, because most likely if people stop playing these violent games our world would have one less stressor on their heads, and our community would be a little safer with the murdering and killing ideas that these games put into our brain.” So, we can have a safer world with the killing ideas in our collective brain. Probably why serial killers are so common.
  • Anti-pageant paper quote: “When the girls act is if they are older with actions such as blowing kisses and walking proactively, these pedophiles and stalkers feel as of the girls are actually doing this to them and are interested in these people.” A good point, but along with the mechanics issues of the sentence, I was thrown off by the proactive walking. Perhaps they should be proactively running.
  • “For instance, the United States banned Henry Miller’s Topic of Cancer (1934) until 1961…By banning a book such as this, or something similar, prevents the knowledge of cancer and what to expect.” Haha! I’ve never read Miller’s TRopic of Cancer (not Topic), but I know it has nothing to do with cancer and more to do with prostitutes and sex. Research your examples students, and spell book titles correctly.   Oh, wait. It gets better. The next sentence: “…if the movement to censor harmless books for children start it will change adult’s lives…”
  • Yikes!  Is this a scene from Alien? “Parents need to distinguish the difference from right and wrong the minute their child comes out wound of the mother.”
  • “Fellow legislatures this is a call to action and something needs to be done now.” Who knew I had politicians in my class?
  • “Every child is different though, so that means not everyone would be as long or as short at Boot Camps.”
  •  “Boot Camps were not made for well-behaved kids or kids that get along with everything, they were made for kids who need the help and who do have Problems in their life.” You know they have bad problems getting along with everything when you capitalize the P.
  • “The people in Egypt struggle to live in poverty for the last three decades…”
  • “Does the material offensive to community standards as defined by state law, regarding depictions of sexual conduct?” My response on paper: Please read this sentence alone. Does is make sense to you? If so, please explain it to me.
  • “Joe Flacco (quarterback for the Ravens) recently restructured his contract; the result made him the most paid player in NFL history.” So…he gets paid more often? A few times a week maybe? How often do the rest get paid? Nobody has been paid more times than this man!

I have more where these came from, so check back with me soon.