Standards for Writing Quality
in Professor Chilton's Courses

Every teacher has things that especially concern h/her.  I'm no different:  I seriously dislike bad writing.  This has several implications:

1. I expect and appreciate well-written papers.  To me, good writing is a sign that the student has taken care with the paper, and I then tend to forgive other flaws.

2. If you believe you're not a good writer, you should know that I'm very tolerant of people who seek my help to improve their writing.  To repeat the above, I take this as a sign that the student cares about h/her work, even if s/he isn't yet in a position to produce a polished piece.

3. The converse of all this is that I am less tolerant of papers which show, through their bad writing unrelieved by any consultation with me, that their authors don't care about them.

4. The same considerations apply to the content of the paper as well, of course.  The basic issue is that you demonstrate a care for what you write.

Here are a set of standards that Professor Farrell in the Composition Department has put forward regarding the standards that students in 3000-level advanced composition courses are expected to meet.  Remember: these are minimum standards that should already be met when a student enters the advanced composition course.  This means that they also apply to your term paper.

Here, here, here, and here are some examples of really bad writing, for your amusement and horror.

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Author:  Stephen Chilton [email]  |  Last Modified:  2004-01-10
Honor Roll  |  UMD  |  Pol Sci Department

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