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a voice for men antifeminism grandiosity homophobia hypocrisy johntheother MGTOW misandry misogyny MRA music video worst writing in the history of the universe YouTube

Working in the quote mine, going down down

“I’ve found another incredibly dopey statement from JohnTheOther!”

So our blabby friend JohnTheOther has an especially blabby piece up on A Voice for Men at the moment. Its ostensible subject: the pure eeeevil of unnamed anti-MRAs who misrepresent the World’s Greatest 21st Century Human Rights Movement –  the Men’s Rights Movement, that is – through the eeevil practice of “quote mining.”

I didn’t read the whole thing. Mr. TheOther is not what you’d call an efficient writer. Here are a few quotes mined from the article more or less at random that I think will give you a good idea of his, um, style:

Biology, or indeed, evolutionary theory is not really the topic of this discussion, rather it is provided here as example of a rhetorical practice increasingly common among opponents of a small but growing human rights movement. …

 The developing practice in opposition to human rights, of quote-mining goes beyond pathetic, into the realm of craven, futile depravity. …

However, it seems that no matter how many times it is explained that a thing formed from (bad) ideas – an ideology, and a group of people, identifiable by sex, are two distinct things, gender ideologues continue to conflate them. …

I don’t know if any of this makes any more sense in context, as I didn’t read the context. Let’s continue:

A year ago, I wrote an article focusing on the necessary public repudiation of violence, and the responsibility of open opposition to those who advocated or promoted a climate of acceptable violence, including those who openly advocate murder, such as a group of swedish feminists, and eugenics advocates on the squalid radical-hub. Statements from my original piece were quoted by at least one amoral zombie, and reframed to present my view as one which called for violence.

Of course, the author of those yellow pixels might not have realized that the original article, along with it’s unambiguous opposition to violence was posted on a site with substantially higher traffic than his own. The craven and stupid dishonesty of the quote-miner was apparent to all but a few, blinded by their own ideological goggles.

Oh, wait, I think those last two paragraphs were supposed to be about me. And I think they were supposed to refer to this post of mine, which took a look at a post of his that defended A Voice for Men’s “outing” of a group of Swedish feminists that the AVFM crew had decided, on the basis of a brief video promoting a theatrical production, were “murder advocates.” His post contained the following (unedited) paragraphs.

That’s right manboob, identifying a group of self-declared murder advocates to the public is more important than protecting those murder advocates from the consequences of advocating murder.

In the truth-is-fiction world of Futrelle’s mind, the men’s right advocates calling for public identification of a hate organization have been transmogrified into promoters of violence.

And what if they get killed David? What if rather than be arrested – as promoters of hate, and public advocates of murder, what if these depraved and murderous female supremacists come to harm at the hands of a citizen. If that happens, it will mean that a society’s system of law, designed to prevent hate organizations, and to allow redress of grievance through non violent due process is gone, wiped out by your ideology of violence and hate. That’s what you’re defending, David.

In my post, I quoted the final paragraph; here I have included the two preceding grafs to give it a bit more, what’s that word, context.

Of course, a couple of paragraphs by themselves are still kind of “out of context” I guess. Since I am pretty sure no one would like it if I simply pasted in the entire post from JtO here, I will instead direct you to his original post, here. You may make of it what you wish. I rather doubt that you will see it as a clearheaded treatise of nonviolence. Especially with that line: “And what if they get killed David?” (Which you can read in context above, or, again, in his original post. Let me link to it a sixth time here, just to make sure you know how to find his original words in context. Oops, that’s seven times now)

Interesting that a master debater of Mr. TheOther’s caliber somehow forgot to provide even one link to the controversy he was referring to, so people might be able to see for themselves what had happened, and judge his claims accordingly. I wonder why that might be?

I’ll skip the next bit in Mr. TheOther’s latest post, in which Mr.TheOther suggests that an opponent of his might have taken a quote of his out of context in a way that  makes him look racist and homophobic. But since he offers no links to the actual discussion, there’s no way of judging whether this particular quote-mining claim is true. (Perhaps this discussion on the Men’s Rights subreddit could shed some light on it?)

In any case, if we put this particular discussion in a broader, er, context, there is certainly ample evidence of homophobia amongst the A Voice for Men crowd, as I have pointed out here and here. (Protip: If you want to convince people you are not homophobic, you should probably not feature a video mocking “lesbo-bos” in the sidebar of the site you help to run.)

Anyway, this next bit of his definitely has something or other to do with me:

Bottom feeding quote miners indulging in snarky feats of futrelian deceit likely do win rhetorical brownie points, at least when seen through their own ideological goggles. But they are cementing their own a public persona which will wear about as comfortably as klan robes do at a NAACP meeting. The altered landscape this movement is building is not someday, it is now, and it is coming faster all the time.

Uh, dude, my last name has two L’s in it. It should be “Futrellian deceit.” If you’re going to turn my name into a slur, at least spell it correctly.

For individuals in opposition to human rights of men and boys now, whether through lying, repetition of old, false dogmas, or the craven tactic of mis-represented and mis-attributed meaning, the comfort of a formerly one-sided monologue is over. The public squirming we see in attempts to render MRA voices silent or apologetic will escalate before it abates. But that’s okay.

Hey, Mr. TheOther. If you really want to prove my “futrelian” or even my “Futrellian” deceit, how about this: provide specific examples of me taking something you or some other MRA has written out of context in a way that distorts its meaning.

For your convenience, you can find all the Man Boobz posts that reference you here and here.

And for anyone who now has the song “Working In the Coal Mine” stuck in their head, here’s the Lee Dorsey original:

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VoIP
VoIP
8 years ago

Is it just me or is that writing style super common to pretty much all bigots?

It’s a style common to people trying way too hard to sound educated. Or, as the old line goes, it’s “a dumb person’s idea of a smart person.”

Not to mention that conservatives tend to revere a particular idea of erudition—puffy, archaic or faux-archaic—which gives the writing of a dumb conservative a different flavor from that of a dumb liberal. The first wants to be CS Lewis, GK Chesterton, or Burke while the second wants to be Zinn or Derrida.

Naira: I had the same experience in the last English class I took. Every paper I got a perfect score, so every paper I would bullshit a little more than the last to see how much I could get away with, till the final paper which I completely phoned in and still got an A. It was nice because I’d been worried about passing (I have a tendency to just stop going to class a month in), but I would have liked some semblance of guidance.

Was your instructor a professor or a TA? Because as the second, I can tell you that a lot of the time we have no CLUE how to teach people. I suppose I’ll get better as I continue to work at this, but right now I’m at the level where I can see where there’s something wrong with a student’s writing, but not how to tell them how to fix it. :[

VoIP
VoIP
8 years ago

Ithiliana, when did you get good at this and can you give me any pointers? Apart from seeing and correcting obvious errors of fact, which is easy, how do I help undergrads write better?

Anti-Anti-Manboobz
8 years ago

Naira: I had the same experience in the last English class I took. Every paper I got a perfect score, so every paper I would bullshit a little more than the last to see how much I could get away with, till the final paper which I completely phoned in and still got an A. It was nice because I’d been worried about passing (I have a tendency to just stop going to class a month in), but I would have liked some semblance of guidance.

I did the exact same thing! My final paper began with “Since the dawn of time…”

katz
8 years ago

…Dammit, forgot to change my handle.

Cliff Pervocracy
8 years ago

I still say all men should stay at home and do all the cooking, cleaning and childcare for the next 5000 years while women do everything else. We men want to feel the oppression for the next five millenia.

I will take you the fuck up on that.

You wanna be my wife? Live in my house, do my housework, get paid in room and board? I do leave the house awful messy some mornings, and I’m pretty particular about my dinners, and boy are you in for a surprise when we have kids, but hey, that’s all you have to worry about all day, oughta be easy-peasy. You can’t have a career, of course, and you can’t have any money or possessions that are really your own. But you can have all the bon-bons you can eat!

What do you say? Sound appealing?

Fembot
Fembot
8 years ago

@Cliff

“But you can have all the bon-bons you can eat!”

Actually, no. He has to make sure he stays fit and firm, otherwise some other hot young guy might draw away your attention. So two hours a day at the gym. And don’t forget styling your hair, painting your nails, and putting on makeup. A wife has to be HOT while she is cleaning up after you.

Cliff Pervocracy
8 years ago

Actually, no. He has to make sure he stays fit and firm, otherwise some other hot young guy might draw away your attention. So two hours a day at the gym. And don’t forget styling your hair, painting your nails, and putting on makeup. A wife has to be HOT while she is cleaning up after you.

Well, of course not. Also, he can’t buy himself bon-bons with my money unless I give the say-so. Also, he can’t have bon-bons until his chores are done, of course, but I’m sure preparing breakfast and dinner for the whole family plus shopping plus cleaning plus childcare can’t take that long.

And if we get divorced he’ll be left with nothing–it was my money–and if he gets a couple hundred bucks to live on people will dogpile on him for being a gold-digging whore.

But besides that, he can have bon-bons! And he doesn’t have to do any “real work”!

Do we have a deal, NWO?

blitzgal
8 years ago

The only people who think that staying at home with the kids all day is easy do not have kids, or have never stayed home all day with them.

Fembot
Fembot
8 years ago

“…but I’m sure preparing breakfast and dinner for the whole family plus shopping plus cleaning plus childcare can’t take that long.”

In Owlyverse, those things only take 30 minutes, maximum. And doing laundry for a family of four is no more time consuming than doing laundry for a bachelor.

amandajane5
amandajane5
8 years ago

Cliff, I *totally* had the same reaction. I’ve always wanted a “wife” – but of course Mr. Slave has never had to come home from the job where they work 40+ hours a week, and make more money than their husband, and still be expected to make dinner immediately, and get told (at said meal, which they just cooked, after working a full day) about how they should do more vacuuming.

Ruby Hypatia
Ruby Hypatia
8 years ago

I’ve never heard of anyone who are, “in opposition to human rights of men and boys.”

cloudiah
8 years ago

Unless they’re in prison, right Ruby? Then they’re fair game for rape!

[NOTE to any lurking MRAs: Ruby is literally the only person commenting on this blog who thinks this. It is why she is repeatedly, and justifiably, condemned here.]

Naira
Naira
8 years ago

@Molly Moon

“…I would have liked some semblance of guidance.”

Yeah, the sad thing was that this was my adviser. I’m glad it was only for my Master’s, I want someone who is a bit more involved for my doctorate. At least a little nit-picking is better than “you’re on your own.”

Vitamin D
Vitamin D
8 years ago

Wow, you occupy so many of their waking thoughts it’s a wonder they can get any misogyny done.

Ithiliana
8 years ago

@Naira: A whole lot of practice–I was a teaching assistant in different programs, but that wasn’t actually much help (the work that my department’s comp people do with TAs is immensely difference than what I received–I’m not in comp, but as the creative writing and critical theory person, not to mention new media, I have more in common with the comp than the lit people). I did a lot of stuff wrong–and had to learn from what happened — one thing that is actually harder than one might think: always start with something positive in the comments!

If you start with a negative, you’ve lost them from the start.

Circling or noting every grammatical error or stylistic problem is absolutely counter-productive: that is, if a student has major problems with, say, commas, circle a few representative errors, and advise them to get help (hopefully there is a good Writing Center on campus).

Realize that the easiest thing to mark wrong are said grammatical errors (though in many cases, they’re stylistic differences!)–and the hardest to work with students on are the larger issues–and it isn’t about the facts. Even when it comes to grammar, the idea that there is a single (prescriptive) correct grammar has fallen apart in the last decades since most K-12 teachers don’t know any consistent system of grammar, or how to teach it (the traditional skill’n’drill way does not work.

It’s about how they’re presenting their claim(s) and evidence — the best practice in composition these days is to work with them on global revision (paragraph level or above, deleting irrelevant material, writing new material, re-structuring). Realize that too many students get taught the five-paragraph structure throughout K-12, and that there is a place for that (essay exams! standardized fucking tests) but that’s about it–but they’re going to resist.

Most of the students I work with even the juniors and seniors who are English majors have the fixed idea that you make up your argument, then look for evidence to support it–and the best evidence is “facts” (which given that good analysis can often develop more than one claim from the same evidence, especially if it’s an interpretive rather than a ‘pro/con’ claims). And they want to find evidence that basically makes their argument–this does not work in upper-level English. They have no idea that argumentation involves taking the opposing views (and again, there’s more than two sides), and analyzing them, and dealing with them–or that if you find a bunch of references that says exactly what they want to say, then they need to develop a different argument.

But even in composition courses, where we’re not supposed to be teaching literary analysis ideally (gen ed is not supposed to be that discipline specific, but many departments still do it), it’s hard for students to get the idea that argumentation is any more than two opposing sides shouting at each other (it’s perfectly understandable that they think so given what they’ve been exposed to!). (I often say that I enjoy the way many of our trolls allow me to understand just how much better some of my weakest students are than the troll writing.)

The issue about TA’s not being able to give guidance–it’s a problem. Most of the people who go into English graduate programs are fairly good readers and writers, and because they’re read so much (the more somebody’s read, the better they’ll be), they have picked up an intuitive sense of how to write fairly well, but no real sense of what the elements of good writing are, from syntactic to the different types of structures one can use in an argument paper).

On a pragmatic level (what I had to learn not to do): don’t write more in comments than the paper is (*blush*). Try to avoid doing marathon grading sessions because you will react differently to the same problems in the 18th paper than in the first if you’re not really working to avoid that. Current scholarship says that in a portfolio approach, where students get feedback and are expected to revise and re-submit, it can take 40-45 minutes to read, evaluate, and comment on one draft (that’s why we have to fight to keep our comp classes 25 or under when the admin wants us to raise them to 35, or even better, 50). Realize that one term cannot ‘solve” everything — you need to set some reasonable goals and work toward them with the students. Odds are you’ll think that whatever you are required to do as a TA (if you have to teach to a single syllabus and sequence of assignments and required text) is the cause of all the problems you have: the humbling experience comes when you design your own course from bottom up and things bomb!

Realize that a different group of students will react completely differently to the same sequence/assignments/class–despite the attempts of the Education people to make teaching a science (and the Business people to make it a business), it’s not — and never can be

Um, I can go on forever — but will throttle myself to a stop now!

Ithiliana
8 years ago

@Molly Moon and Naira: I tended to be a fairly open-ended and non-structured teacher both in first year comp courses and up to my doctoral students–I learned the hard way that it was better to give students more structure and direction (especially since in Texas, they come to college with NO experience, mostly, in making their own choices–I teach at a small university in a poor, rural area). So now I’m more directive, and it seems to work better.

I think many of us tend to teach the way we wanted to be taught–and then we have to learn that won’t work for everybody!

AbsintheDexterous
8 years ago

Blitzgal, there’s another option – the people who are wealthy enough to pay a nanny/au pair to watch the children while they crank out their article about the evils of working and single mothers. It almost sounds like I’m too specific, but there’s just so many of them that I think it’s a thing.

I get discombobulated just taking care of my nieces for a few hours. At least with one niece, I can just let her climb all over me if I’ve run out of steam. Her mother is always amazed that I have such a high tolerance for sharp, pointy elbows and knees.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

paul — “OK,,, You really have to decide what gender you are.” — nope, no he doesn’t, only person here who seem to care that I won’t is NWO. And anyways, what evidence has David given to suggest he doesn’t use male pronouns 100% of the time?

darksidecat– “You’re not good with history, are you? Also, my only ancestors that were here at the time are mentioned in the Constitution as “excluding Indians, not taxed”, it didn’t apply to them.” — I think he wants the “not taxed” part without the forced sterilization and other genocidal parts.

NWO — “Ya mean from the international bankers? We done lost that battle. Think Woodrow Wilson.” — /).< from the king of England, and if we lost, how is it that you haven’t been thrown in the dungeon yet?

Fembot
Fembot
8 years ago

paul — “OK,,, You really have to decide what gender you are.”

Was this directed at Dave Futrelle? I really don’t understand the meaning of his comment.

Unimaginative
Unimaginative
8 years ago

the people who are wealthy enough to pay a nanny/au pair to watch the children while they crank out their article about the evils of working and single mothers.

Yep. I actually have a friend who was a stay-at-home mom with a full-time, live-in nanny for her single, 12-year-old son. Granted, she didn’t write articles lambasting women who worked, but she did complain about working mothers who “contributed less” to group efforts than she did.

Ruby Hypatia
Ruby Hypatia
8 years ago

Cloudia, if they’ve done the equivilent, or more, evil to others, then I don’t care if they get raped. I may even chuckle about it.

VoIP
VoIP
8 years ago

NWO — “Ya mean from the international bankers? We done lost that battle. Think Woodrow Wilson.” — /).< from the king of England, and if we lost, how is it that you haven’t been thrown in the dungeon yet?

Oh hay, Antisemitism!

VoIP
VoIP
8 years ago

Cloudia, if they’ve done the equivilent, or more, evil to others, then I don’t care if they get raped. I may even chuckle about it.

Shut.
The.
Fuck.
Up.

Fembot
Fembot
8 years ago

Ruby,

“Cloudia, if they’ve done the equivilent, or more, evil to others, then I don’t care if they get raped. I may even chuckle about it.”

Stop! Would you say female murderers deserve to get raped, or is it just men? WTF. Not caring is one thing, but to chuckle about it is fucking disgusting.

Fembot
Fembot
8 years ago

To clarify I should say:

Not caring is bad enough, but to chuckle about it is fucking disgusting.

cloudiah
8 years ago

Cloudia, if they’ve done the equivilent, or more, evil to others, then I don’t care if they get raped. I may even chuckle about it.

And that, Ruby, is what makes you a truly evil person. You literally have NO redeeming qualities.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

Ruby — yes, we’re aware, that’s why we keep bringing this up and saying that really, you’re evil too, whether you’re willing to see it or not.

You continue to ignore this, but let me say it again — you do not get to decide who “deserves” to be raped because then someone else could decide that includes you.

Fembot
Fembot
8 years ago

That is one thing I can agree with MRAs about. Jokes about men being raped in prison are reprehensible and not funny, and I wish they weren’t so common in the media. Of course, I have heard MRAs joke about women being raped, so, we’re not in total agreement on the issue.

Shaenon
8 years ago

I still say all men should stay at home and do all the cooking, cleaning and childcare for the next 5000 years while women do everything else. We men want to feel the oppression for the next five millenia.

Baby, I made you that offer months ago, and you never got back to me.

Message me on Facebook (same username as here). I’ll arrange for you to move out to my place and do all my cooking, cleaning and childcare for free. I demand that you also keep yourself attractive and amusing, but that shouldn’t be so hard. In return, you may sleep under my roof and eat some of the food you prepare. It is a sweet deal. Do not pass this up.

Fembot
Fembot
8 years ago

@Shaenon

Yeah, but then he might want a ring 😀

Kyrie
Kyrie
8 years ago

Fembot: she said it already: she’s an equal opportunity rape apologist, raping BAD women is funny too!

Kyrie
Kyrie
8 years ago

Ruby, stop repeating the same things and answers other questions: would you do it yourself? (or support a relative/friend who did it)
What is the limit for being BAD?

Sorka
Sorka
8 years ago

I still say all men should stay at home and do all the cooking, cleaning and childcare for the next 5000 years while women do everything else.

Everything else being… writing angry rants about the opposite gender on the Internet? Or hunting the mammoth? I’m confused.

Kyrie
Kyrie
8 years ago

I can do the hunting mammoths part! I won’t let any mammoth alive, I can swear that.

Sorka
Sorka
8 years ago

Kyrie: Okay, cool. I’ll go down the mine and invent the wheel.

2-D Man
2-D Man
8 years ago

Cloudia, if they’ve done the equivilent, or more, evil to others, then I don’t care if they get raped. I may even chuckle about it.

This is why we don’t like you.

Alpha Asshole Cock Carousel
Alpha Asshole Cock Carousel
8 years ago

I … have … Boobz

– David Futrelle

Sharculese
8 years ago

Cloudia, if they’ve done the equivilent, or more, evil to others, then I don’t care if they get raped. I may even chuckle about it.

we get it. youre a huge creep. crawl back into whatever hole you slithered out of.

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

Cloudia, if they’ve done the equivilent, or more, evil to others, then I don’t care if they get raped. I may even chuckle about it.

Oh my god, Ruby. I don’t like to try to engage with you, mostly because other people already say what there is to be said, somewhat because I know chances are you won’t even bother paying attention, and at least a little because I just don’t want to deal with the yuck factor. But your insistence on repeating this point as if it was meaningful has become laughable.

RUBY.

RUBY, WE KNOW. WE GET IT.

You have made it exceptionally clear that you only find the rape of the “bad people” to be amusing. Nobody has missed this point. Nobody thinks you want everybody raped, or everyone in prison raped. We are not labouring under some misconception that you can correct by explaining your position yet again. We understand 100%, and we still think you deserve condemnation.

It’s like you think the idea that some people’s rapes are both funny and deserved is so self-evident that it could not possibly be what we’re taking issue with. Rather, we must have concluded that you think the wrong group of people’s rapes is deserved. If only you could get us to understand that, no, you have targeted the right group of rape victims! Then we would see that you’re in the right!

No. Nobody deserves rape. Fucking nobody. So just stop trying to explain yourself this way.

Snowy
Snowy
8 years ago

Cloudia, if they’ve done the equivilent, or more, evil to others, then I don’t care if they get raped. I may even chuckle about it.

Oh okay then, now that you’ve explained this for 50 millionth time it all makes so much sense to me and I agree with you! /sarcasm

Seriously Ruby, why do you keep repeating the same thing over and over?

Sharculese
8 years ago

stuttering shambolic-brained wingnut cackles with glee at other peoples brain to feed her gross little child-id, whines that nobody recognizes she has the moral high ground, pouts and tantrums ahoy

Ponkz
Ponkz
8 years ago

Snowy, I was wondering the same thing – everyone here has been pretty unanimous in condemning what Ruby said. I’ve no idea what she hopes to achieve by continuing to repeat it without any apology or even a moment of self-reflection.

ShadetheDruid
ShadetheDruid
8 years ago

Sharculese: That was so.. poetic. *Wipes tear*

Sharculese
8 years ago

*other people’s pain

Sharculese
8 years ago

I’ve no idea what she hopes to achieve by continuing to repeat it without any apology or even a moment of self-reflection.

she’s a wingnut, which means she thinks aggressively re-inserting herself into a space where everyone finds her ideas abhorrent is some sort of political resistance rather than just the behavior of a five-year-old who flips the fuck out when someone tells her no

pecunium
pecunium
8 years ago

re writing; JtO is trying too hard. It would help if his message were more than, “those people that disagree with are mean meanies who keep telling people who don’t know about us, about us.” He ought to be happy. It rare for a group as small and insignificant as the MRM to get much attention at all.

Which implies the attention they get, isn’t the attention they want. It probably sucks that the only people (outside the club) who pay attention to them point and laugh.

My writing style is like my speaking style. More to the point it’s very like my thinking style. I don’t ( for good or ill) rework comments, and I tend to get ahead of myself; so that I have nested thoughts, serial ideas, and sometimes think I’ve finished a thought when I haven’t). I also have a pretty wide-ranging reading habit, and a fondness for clever language.

Sometimes it bites me in the ass, sometimes it’s just the thing.

Btu what I don’t have is the idea that my writing style is brilliant on it’s face. If I can’t make myself clear, I fail. I had a comment I made at HuffPo, one sentence, which a handful of people took the opposite meaning from my intent. So I had to deconstruct it.

For all the people who took that wrong meaning, and didn’t comment; who write me off as a bigot… to them I am a bigot, because my writing style failed me.

JtO, et al, fail to understand this.

Well, that and they are trying to put lipstick on a pig. They are misogynists, and they don’t like people reminding them of it. If they could get past the misogyny, they’d have a an easier time of dealing with actual issues facing men. Instead… we get people like John Anderson (my Jo).

Then they wonder why we think them misogynist asshats.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
8 years ago

“My writing style is like my speaking style. More to the point it’s very like my thinking style. I don’t ( for good or ill) rework comments, and I tend to get ahead of myself; so that I have nested thoughts, serial ideas, and sometimes think I’ve finished a thought when I haven’t).”

ALL THE IRONY (you’re right about JtO, but damn! Those unbalanced parentheticals got you again!)

pecunium
pecunium
8 years ago

Ruby: I’ve never heard of anyone who are, “in opposition to human rights of men and boys.”

I’ve encountered them. I’ve encountered a couple of them here. Hindoo was one. You are another.

Being all in favor of rape is being against human rights. You laugh at men (and boys) who are raped.

QEFD, you are “in opposition to human rights of men and boys”.

pecunium
pecunium
8 years ago

Ithiliana, when did you get good at this and can you give me any pointers? Apart from seeing and correcting obvious errors of fact, which is easy, how do I help undergrads write better?

I can only speak to my experiences (as a young journalist, as a mentoring editor, as a student).

feedback. What works, what didn’t work. Find the questions in the piece that need to be answered, and ask the student to get/write the answers.

Explain what failed to work, and praise what did. Try to find at least one positive thing in a piece (even if it’s a shit sandwich).

My argumention (english, not philosophy) class had a great prof. He was teaching because he wanted to (he got an English degree in the late ’70s from Columbia, and then got a job at IBM. Retired (early) and went to teaching lower division english). I took two classes with him, managed a B in both.

1: I am not a natural thinker/writer in the academic style.
2: He engaged me. He didn’t treat me as one of many.
3: He gave just that sort of feedback.
4: My final paper he praised my style, saying I’d managed to bury my thesis (see above, re academic style) and that it worked.

He also inisted on revision, outside opinion of at least one draft, and kept office hours, which he touted.

The one class covered lots of texts. The other only two.

Both were made me a better reader/writer/thinker (and I was on Manboobz during at least one of them).