Grading Papers

Today, I spent most of the day teaching. The most tedious part of being an online instructor is grading papers. What makes this process so tedious is the very, very poor quality of the writing I see. Today’s crop of papers was unusually awful. Misused apostrophes and commas were just the beginning. Incomplete sentences, homophones, and inchoate words strung together as if they meant something. Citations to authority were virtually absent and I found two instances of out-and-out plagiarism which I will have to report to Academic Affairs. Grading papers took me more than five hours and I felt more like a grammar instructor than a law teacher.

Props to the first commenter who can figure out why I posted this particular picture for this particular topic.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.


  1. If that was a picture of Alice Cooper, I would say that you posted it because “School’s Out.” But that does not look like Alice Cooper.

  2. Is that Dio? They’re ugly like Dio. I Googled “Dio” and “plagiarism” and got a lot of references to Cassius Dio and the anti-cheating policies in various Roman history classes. I Googled “Black Sabbath” and “cheater” and got a lot of Judas Priest references. So, no props for me.

  3. No; of course it’s an 80’s hair band and the name is related to what I’m complaining about. Here’s another hint: My students are a bunch of Babys.

  4. The band is Bad English, in honor of your student’s poor grammar. So, I guess you are saying that they spell as bad as I do. Pretty obscure dude.

  5. Good job dude! Big props to Salsola (and no, I haven’t figured your picture out yet, dude).

  6. A relative who works for a community college teaches some classes on-line. She taught a summer school and had great students. When she taught a fall class, she said the students were awful. Maybe you will experience the same phenomena.

  7. There is no joke associated with the picture, it is more aspirational.

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