I gave my students a writing prompt. That prompt gave them two passages from a novel to use for a literary analysis essay. In the prompt, I instructed the students to write about civilization and savagery in the two passages. The photo below is a portion of that prompt.
We discussed the prompt in class on several occasions. We devoted class time to working on the assignment. I was around to answer any questions. I asked if they understood the prompt. We discussed the prompt some more. We talked about expectations for the assignment. I emailed them reminders about the assignment. I talked with each student individually about the assignment.
Nevertheless I had the following questions and comments about the assignment.
How many paragraphs does it need to be?
I thought it was supposed to be five paragraphs.
Are we supposed to use paragraphs?
I didn’t know we had to write an introduction.
We need a conclusion?
I didn’t write a conclusion. Do I need to go back and add one?
You didn’t say anything about needing a thesis statement.
I thought my thesis statement was supposed to be instead of my introduction.
I wrote my first paragraph about civilization.
Oh, I wrote my first paragraph about savagery. Is that right?
I didn’t know I was supposed to write about civilization and savagery.
I would now like to interrupt this litany to introduce Exhibit B.
You didn’t say we had to talk about those 2 passages.
And here is Exhibit C.
I suppose reading instructions is a lost art.