I just graded a small stack of short papers by the students in my senior seminar, and I have to say, they were stellar, every single one, with one a bit more stellar yet.
The thing is, I don't know why. I mean, I feel like I'm smacking my head against a brick wall in my other courses as far as teaching writing. I spend time working on writing in various ways in every class I teach, but I don't always feel like it helps. (Sometimes, of course, a student just really gets it suddenly.)
Are these students in the senior seminar in English because they were always good writers?
Or have we done something to help them become good writers?
Or a mix?
(When I say stellar, I really mean it. They all had strong introductions, addressed the assignment well, use quotations to make their points stronger, and let me with something to think about in their conclusion. I think there was one with one or two proofreading boo-boos, but otherwise, they were well proofed and had interesting, well-crafted sentences.)
And the discussion we had last week was really good. Maybe they're just super smart, good students, and somehow ended up together in this one class?