Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Speedy Rant: Essay Topics

My assignment says: do not pick a cliched, overly done topic, such as 'effects of drunk driving' or 'consequences of texting while driving' or 'not studying in college.' In class we reviewed WHY these topics are no longer viable as options for an essay. We mocked them and students appeared to enjoy coming up with other tired topics for essays to also avoid.

Guess what three students turned in as their proposed topics (this was for points, so I'm pretty sure they weren't doing it as a joke)!

Do they all share a pumpkin for a brain?


  1. Replies
    1. You're right (although I was thinking of jack-o-lantern pumpkins with empty insides. :o)

  2. Pumpkins are at least reasonably large. I'd go for zucchini (which I find more frightening than pumpkins anyway).

  3. But, Professor Cynic! We talked about these in class! You're not being fair!

    1. "I even wrote them in my notebook! SEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

      (A common trope...the student who writes down the BAD examples and forgets to mark them B-A-D)

    2. Right! And the examples where we came up with less cliched perspectives, those? What were those? At least no more than three people did this! That, by definition, is probably success! :o)

  4. This is a perennial problem for me, too. The majority recognize the bad examples (of whatever, from topics to citation) as bad examples, and at least make a sincere effort at avoiding the pitfalls, but there's always somebody who decides to follow the negative model. Honestly, as long as it's a small proportion of the class that's doing this, I'm not sure you need to worry -- but it's still frustrating.


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