Hope I am not just venting

Hello all! I hope this isn’t me just venting my confusion/frustration. I just got an email that reminded me of a conversation we had in class a while back. My professor emailed me after reading my rough draft. He said that he liked my paper, but my paper sounded like it was written for a live presentation or a popular magazine and he wanted it to sound more academic. I am quite confused as to what that means. Has anyone ever had this situation?  I am by no means complaining about my professor. He’s great! The email just reminded me of an idea that came up in class about college essays sometimes having a lot of restrictions on them, restrictions that sometimes cause papers to sound dry and boring. I feel that as I revise the paper to make it sound “more academic”, I’m going to be slowly stripping my personality away from the paper. This bothers me.

– Celine

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2 thoughts on “Hope I am not just venting

  1. Celine, that sounds extremely frustrating. Was he clear about the paper by saying that it shouldn’t reflect ‘media’ like characteristics? I don’t see why teachers feel the need to restrict us from our creativity. It sounds more like a problem of the teacher not liking your writing style and therefore not liking your idea. When a teacher is so set in their ways that they refuse to accept an outside thinker, how is that fair? I don’t even feel that you should have to re-write it in order to cater to your professors idea of a solid paper. I have had this happen to me with one professor this year who has made me revise my paper literally three times because it’s not what he wants. You are not alone my friend.

    -Erin Dodd

  2. I totally feel your pain! That kind of criticism is something I often encounter when handing in papers. While I understand that its important to “sound professional” in certain situations, I don’t understand why every single paper I write needs to avoid the use of “I” or “we”. I would think that more casual papers that display personality, character, or even humor, would be so much more interesting for my professors to read than ones that are completely generic. Furthermore, I always feel like my professors are trying to take the enjoyment out of writing when they place these kind of restrictions on my papers. Part of what I love most about writing is the ability to share my thoughts and ideas with others. When I have to change my writing style to fit these kinds of rules put in place by my professors, I sometimes feel like I have to change my thoughts and ideas as well.

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