What It's All About
Tired of correcting the same mistakes--even in senior papers-- year after year, hoarse and in danger of developing throat cancer from endless repetition of the same rules, tired even of my own lame jokes and pathetic attempts to humorize grammar and the writing process, at long last frustrated by the inability of far too many obtuse students to grasp the words of wisdom I have shouted at them through the apparently impenetrable air, I am here casting off all pretense and committing to paper the real rules and regulations that have guided me for years as I grade student papers. Note that many of these rules apply equally well to the writing of exams or any other project. In any case, they should certainly help you in your quest for the dearly desired grade you think you deserve.
Many of you, with some justification, are convinced that the rules of composition and grammar are a crock, that they are petty and irrelevant beyond belief, and that the only reason English professors insist upon them is to exercise one brief and feeble moment of power in their otherwise bleak and powerless lives. There is some truth to that. There is even a school of thought within the English-teaching profession that views grammar as a tool of imperialism, a way for white male culture to impose its values upon others and make them conform to a value system that keeps white males in command. There may be something to that too. And of course there are those who arrogantly reject learning such writing rules, knowing for sure that