"Growing up Southern is a privilege, really. It's more than where you're born; it's an idea and state of mind that seems imparted at birth. It's more than loving fried chicken, sweet tea, football, and country music. It’s being hospitable, devoted to front porches, magnolias, moon pies, coca-cola... and each other. We don't become Southern - we're born that way." - Unknown
08 March 2010
writing is fun...here comes a rant
I proofread a lot of papers for people because I consider myself a good writer. I enjoy it. I am good at catching mistakes and helping people achieve more cohesion in their writing. Recently, I proofread a paper for someone, and if that paper had simply been handed to me with no prior knowledge that the writer was a currently enrolled college student, I would have placed the paper at about a 7th or 8th grade writing level. It was really something. There were blatant grammatical errors all over the place. Wrong words were used. e.g. 'than' when it should have been 'then'. Cringe-worthy stuff like that. Sentences didn't make sense. The order of sentences didn't make sense. Paragraphs didn't make sense. There was no cohesiveness in the essay at all. It was basically a poorly written, jumbled mess of thoughts and run-ons that didn't fit together at all. After I tried my best to fix whatever I could (I don't know how many of you have tried to proofread a paper like that, but it's extremely difficult. There's not really much you can do with it except tell the person to throw it all away and start over.) Anyway, after that I pulled up a paper that I wrote in the 8th grade about Oskar Schindler. (I save all of the papers I write). I read through my little middle school essay, and found that it was worlds better than the essay I just proofread from a college student. There's definitely something wrong with this situation.
In the end, after I semi got over the shock of such a paper from a college student, I couldn't help but feel so incredibly sorry for those people. How are they going to succeed in life if they can't write? I'm sorry, but every single job requires you, at some point, to write on some intelligible level. Do they just not realize how poorly they write? Are they aware? Should someone tell them? Enroll them in a basic writing class? Something needs to be done, though I'm not quite sure what.