Bad Student Writing

Via Leiter and some Facebook posts, there’s this blog for bad student writing. I tend not to like the politics of picking on certain students’ writing: it’s fine around the so-called water cooler, but are things really worse than during eras of huge illiteracy? Are we hearkening back to some era in which student writing was good?

Anyway, speaking of a previous era, when I was an undergraduate, there was supposedly an annual competition called the Dick Hart awards in the SUNY SB philosophy department for worst student writing (awarded anonymously). The story goes that a confused prof of modern philosophy was wondering who was this scholar Dick Hart that was cited numerous times in a lengthy student paper. You can see the punchline coming (it was Descartes) but yeah it’s important to read the texts you’re writing about.