Monday, April 9, 2007

The Great Beast of Vapid (lab report) Writing

Thanks, Sherman. Your blog on empty thesis statements, pointing me to the interesting comments of the Little Professor, was just the thing to run across while procrastinating over sloppy lab reports.

When adding my dos centavos to the Professor's blog, I forgot to point to my earlier remarks describing my views of the relationship between what we read in college and what they are trained to do in high school. That this training helps them survive a college composition class only reinforces the behavior.

It is a real problem. In a few years, these students will be writing memos and reports that could determine whether your airplane flies or a dam collapses. Vague generalities just will not do in that case. I hope your class and mine push them to take the risk of being wrong. I do it by taking off more points for being vague than for trying and getting it wrong. I can correct wrong; I can't correct vague.

I'll say more if I ever get an essay about teaching Lab classes out of the draft folder .... but now it is time to get back into the maw of the Beast.

No comments: