My Predicaments With The English Language
As a college professor in Accountancy, I was often tasked to watched over the classes of other professors during major exams. Often enough, I act as proctor for several classes in a local university where I used to teach. Most classes that I was tasked to proctor, were either Accountancy, Math or Economics. As common practice in the university, the type of questions that were given, were mostly in multiple choice and quantitative analysis formats. However, there was one term, when I was a proctor of a Business Law class, where I noticed that part of the exam was in essay form. I looked over the class profile, and saw that this was one among the fourth year graduating class that year. I then became confident, that the group can tackle the legal questions easily, without much of a problem.
However, when I received the test papers, and read some of the essay answers, I got shocked beyond belief, to read some of the most atrocious writings that I had read from any college student. The sentence structure was in disharmony, and the grammar issues were just too many to make the paper comprehensible! I could not understand how these same students made it through fourth year, with the kind of writing skills that they had. Looking at the test papers, I found out that the essay questions comprised a mere ten percent of the total score. Hence, the weight of the other test questions in other formats, like multiple choice and fill in the blanks, could far outweigh the grade point average in the essay questions.
This incident simmered into my subconscious for sometime, that I made it a point to use essay as part of my course curriculum later on. Though these test format is hard to correct and grade, I always emphasized to my students of the need to write clearly and logically, and that clear thinking leads to clear writing. Regardless of the type of class that I handle, I always make it a point to impart to my...
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