Okay, this one is for the kids.
Lovgubbers, ye citizens of Hitch, I need to tell you a few things about your writing.
#1. It's getting better. Really, it is. I know you still have anxiety about how to construct an epic thesis or not plod on with pedestrian transitions, but you are getting better.
It's not going to be a single experience that makes you a fab writer... it's the commitment to learn a bit more about how you write, and how to fix it so you express yourself better with each experience.
I had a chat with my girl, Charlie, about my thoughts... And if you are like Charlie, you maybe don't know where to start with revisions. But, concentrate less on the construct of your argument to the flow of your voice. Your logic should be rock solid and established in your research and planning (i.e., outline.) But your language should be revised and revisited to make sure it is crisp, snappy, and precise.
Mean what you say, say what you mean.
Here are some examples taken from the latest round of papers. You know, Hobby Lobby. Lots of kids said stuff like this:
The petitioner, Kathleen Sebelius, believes that the government should require religious business owners to provide their female employees with contraceptives.
We chatted in class, so I know where you are going. But it's lacking precision. Let's explain.
1. What kind of businesses are we talking about? Sounds like churches, which we know from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, is already cool to exercise First Amendment rights. We are talking about private, for-profit companies.
2. What kind of requirement? Are we talking a right to access and use birth control (protected by Griswold) or a legal requirement to provide benefits that include no-cost coverage for contraception. Because Hobby Lobby is not handing out contraceptives. They are paying for someone else's contraceptives, as prescribed by doctors. Very important distinction. We are talking about providing health insurance coverage for these products.
3. Who is Kathleen Sebelius? Is she suing Hobby Lobby? Or is she a bureaucrat?
As you can see, how precise or imprecise you are may contribute to mad props in terms of grades, or points flying off your rubric. Reread, and tread carefully.
We would re-write this jam to read:
Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius argues that the federal mandate on private, for-profit business owners to provide their female employees with health insurance benefits covering no-cost contraceptives is constitutional.
2. On how to construct arguments. Some final thoughts:
Other than that, you all did a marvelous job. I am done grading these bad boys, and am so proud of your hard work.
When I am not g'ing it up, I am tackling the bigger problem... writing skills. Maybe my kids will write well enough to work at C-Span studios. Maybe.