So I am helping a good friend of mine with her English class and I came across something weird. My friend is what I call English class timid. Some people are test shy and other people are wary of essays. I used to help people in University as well because some majors you just don’t write very many essays and then to have to get your credits in the classes that are essay nuts, often they were a bit cautious of their skills. They knew that area they were not quite so polished. They liked their facts and only the facts. Not embellishing the hell out of the facts. Really though an essay is just an argument. At is minimal it has a simple structure. And you just have to prove your point with evidence. My friend does well without me, she really just has me to check things over to make her feel better about it. Or run ideas off of. That sort of deal. To give her the confidence she needs.
Point being on the last assignment, which was the essay portion she had to look back on her other work to use in it. As they had been doing outlines and so forth. I looked at the previous work too to show her the outline was the argument she was making and to follow that, but fleshed out.
And I noticed some things marked wrong. Over and over in different papers.
Sentences with However in them were followed by a comma. Like so However(,)____
And they were marked Wrong. The teacher said they should be However(;)_____
First the comma is not wrong. Second I have never seen it followed by a semi-colon and I would say that is in fact wrong. Even if in some rule you Can do that, you can’t mark her wrong for using a comma when that is how it is typically done.
Made me really wonder about the instructor to that class. It is one of those English classes they have at some colleges to show you have satisfactory understanding of English to proceed with the actual established course work. So maybe I should not expect that much from it. What is important is the my friend passes and moves on to the real course work.