Daniel W. Drezner

A contest just for professors

A contest just for professors

At this very moment, academics in North America are in the middle of grading their final papers. I’m knee-deep in mine, and they inspire the usual range of emotions — fear, hope, dread, nausea, and somnolence. As professors across the continent look for a reason — any reason — to procrastinate in their grading, the hardworking staff here at danieldrezner.com hereby invites them to participate in the following Bad Student Writing Contest:*

Post, in the comments, the single-worst sentence you have read in a student paper.

Some ground rules:

1) In-class exams do not count — you can’t expect polished writing in that setting. Besides, Brad DeLong already wins this category. 2) Gven the fragility of some students, be as anonymous as you can in your submission. 3) Bonus points if it’s a grad student paper.

I’ll open with a grad paper I just graded (and, intriguingly, received a decent grade despite this opening sentence):

Time and again, one can hear about history repeating itself.

Top that. The winner will be determined by a staff vote here at the blog, and will receive a prize of unspecified but clearly inestimable value. *In the spirit of reciprocity, students will get their own contest sometime after the new year.