English Papers

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Discus: College Confidential Café: 2004 Archive: English Papers
By Mac87 (Mac87) on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 12:34 pm: Edit

at my high school we are not allowed to use be verbs (am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been) in any of the papers we write in all four years

i was wondering if any other high schools do this

By Noodleman (Noodleman) on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 01:02 pm: Edit

Did it in junior high (7th grade). Automatic F. Got an A, I did.

By Dzleprechaun (Dzleprechaun) on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 01:31 pm: Edit

I find that to be the most assinine rule on the planet and my estimation of any English teacher past the, say, 7th grade level goes way down for doing it. There's a reason linking verbs exist. Overuse is bad, but nothing but "action" verbs sounds hamhanded and too busy. Besides, all it does it teach people to get around it by using more ambivalent verbs like "seems," "appears," "gave the appearance of," etc. It's a useful skill but one that has it's time and place.

By Mac87 (Mac87) on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 01:36 pm: Edit

the best part about is after we revise our papers and remove all the be verbs we get points off for awkward wording

By Isaman (Isaman) on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 03:39 pm: Edit

Dzleprechaun :

I agree, and also, promoting the usage of such verbs like "seems," "appears,"gave the appearance of," etc...just encourgaes students to use the passive voice, which is not really good to have in any English paper.

By Philntex (Philntex) on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 07:49 pm: Edit

Passive voice=death in my English classes, which I think is pretty dang stupid. True, you should use the passive considerably less than the active, but there IS a reason why the passive voice exists, after all. Meanings can become muddied and awkward when you switch sentences that should be in the passive to the active.

And the rule on "be" verbs really got me this year. We had never used it until AP English, and I was surprised by how much I use them. Still, they weren't outlawed, thank goodness.

By Ticklemepink (Ticklemepink) on Wednesday, June 09, 2004 - 10:51 pm: Edit

That was the emphasis of my AP English class this year. My 11 Honors teacher attempted to prep us by suggesting that we use less of those helping/linking verbs. Now I am finding my papers to be much stronger than ever without those words. It really clears up your thinking and gets to the point.

7th grade? Sheesh! Focus more on getting yourselves together for high school!!!

But yeah, we're allowed to revise papers for better grade but unfortunately, the English teachers just averages the two together.

The only time I use those words freely is when I'm speaking and writing reader response journals for my AP English class in order to get my thoughts out. Informal setting.

It really, really works. There was one or two papers that I wrote that barely contained those words and I got As.. Wow!

By Mac87 (Mac87) on Thursday, June 10, 2004 - 12:15 am: Edit

try writing a 15 page research paper without any

of course after 3 years of it I'm pretty good at removing them, of course then I still have to worry about all the other errors

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