We receive emails at work just about every week from students who need information for term papers, articles, and research reports. I love that they’re writing about horror, or publishing, or the authors we publish. I hate that they think we’re idiots and will write their paper for them.
I started this post back in November because one student’s email really made me laugh, but then I decided to wait to post it until after the semester was over, just in case this somehow got back to her professor. Who knows with the Internet, right? Here is the email that inspired this miscellaneous thought:
From: “XXXXXXXXXXX” <XXXXXXX@capecod.edu>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2011 11:52:15 -0500
To: “‘email@example.com'” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Sir or Madam:
Hi! My name is XXXXXX, and I am a fan of Stephen King. I
am doing an analytical review of Blockade Billy for my English Composition
class. I was wondering does your publishing company have any book critics
that have reviewed Blockade Billy and have published their review on the
Internet. Could you tell me where to find these reviews? Where do I find
these reviews on the Internet? Could you cite these reviews in MLA format
with the author of the review, name of article, publishing source, and date
of publication or date of when the review was written? Where would I go on
the Internet to find more reviews on Blockade Billy? How was Blockade Billy
originally released by your publishing company, and how and when did
Scribner originally publish Blockade Billy? Please e-mail me with the
answers to my questions and send me any other information about the novella,
Blockade Billy. I need the information by next Friday. Thank-you. My
e-mail is XXXXXXX.
There’s so much in here that I love! The way she asks three times where she can find reviews of Blockade Billy on the Internet, for example. And there’s something about “Could you tell me where to find these reviews? Where do I find these reviews on the Internet?” that sounds almost musical to me.
But the best part, of course, is where she asks: “Could you cite these reviews in MLA format with the author of the review, name of article, publishing source, and date of publication or date of when the review was written?”
Well, yes, I can… because I actually paid attention during my college classes and wrote my own papers. The better question is… can you? 🙂