Should We Study Bad Writing

By April 3, 2014April 11th, 2014The Chronicle of Higher Education

photo_22665_landscape_largeIt happens once a year or so. A student will suggest that we study something that is badly written. “I know,” she’ll say, “Let’s read Twilight!” While I recognize this as a ploy, a way to get credit for a book they want to read—or have already read—for fun, I think something more interesting is also going on. When students recommend we read Fifty Shades of Grey for class, I suspect it’s because when they’re in school, they don’t get to read a lot for pleasure. They read mostly what we tell them to read and even when they enjoy the work, it’s still, for them, work.

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