The Worst Excerpts From Papers I Wrote Freshman Year

As a senior, I can say (mostly) confidently that my writing has improved since my first year in college. Maybe not though, considering I found a SIXTY-SIX WORD SENTENCE in my senior thesis last month. Luckily, I have learned how to revise efficiently and caught the error. Freshman year, I wasn’t so lucky.

1. Title: Secession and Legitimacy

Department: Political Science

"When secessionist movements do not have their rights violated or they are not seen as a people, they are much less legitimate movements, and will likely not succeed.  It is necessary for a state to have all forms of legitimacy, so it is necessary for movements to have qualities that show they are a legitimate state.  Without that, they will not be taken seriously, which is shown to be true with several cases.”

I would be surprised that I wrote this, but I’m not. Professors often chastise me for being too wordy and roundabout with my language. My personal favorite part is the use of “it is necessary” twice in one sentence.

2. Title: Essay #3 (Whoops, I didn’t even bother titling it)

Department: International Studies

“Another way that the French people are united is through their common language.  French is spoken throughout the former colonies, which makes the move to France easier.  Language is a surefire way to unite a community, because of the common ground and ease of communication.”

I’m not even sure I can comment because I can’t even figure out what I’m saying…but the use of “surefire” is enough to make me cringe. Also that passive voice…yikes.

3. Title: The Issue of Ethical Relativism

Department: Philosophy

“The world has an abundance of cultures, and within those cultures, an abundance of people.  Because of this, many of the world’s people have different viewpoints and beliefs on many subjects.  One of these subjects is morality, or the ideologies on what is right and what is wrong.  For example, one ethnicity or race may believe themselves to be superior to another, and they can use their morality to justify their oppression, war, genocide, or whatever action they commit to show their belief in their own superiority.  Another group of people may believe differently.”

Honestly, if someone showed me this and said a baby wrote it, I might believe them. This is the kind of introduction that someone writes when they have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. And considering this was my intro Philosophy course, that assumption would be correct.

4. Title: Medication for Malaria in Malawi

Department: Sociology/Anthropology

“The impact of this study is to shed light on anti-malarial medication in Malawi.  This project, through analysis of data, will bring together a lot of information into one research project. Much is gained from this topic, including an understanding of the malaria in Malawi, the role and problems with anti-malarial drugs, and what can be done in the future in regards to health care systems and lowering mortality rates.”

This is the worst significance of research that I’ve ever seen, and I wrote it. Particularly embarrassing is the following sentence: “This project, through analysis of data, will bring together a lot of information into one research project.” I wonder what the information was…obviously I couldn’t spoil my readers.

5. Title: Poor Little Sad People: A Study of Britain’s Industrial “Revolution” (I’m not kidding. I accidentally turned it in like that…) (ALSO SURPRISE! THIS IS FROM SENIOR YEAR)

Department: History

“The French took to the streets and acted out violently to see what they wanted come to fruition In Great Britain, that was not the case. Change was slow, with working class people asking for certain things and the government responding as necessary. The change that occurred was good, and eventually did some good, but by definition, the British industrial era cannot be called revolutionary.”

First off, I forgot a period, which is…not good. Secondly, the last sentence is so incredibly heinous I’m sorry I ever showed it to you. Please learn from my mistakes.