I had the first student come to talk to me about revisions on his first paper. After talking about his essay, he had to ask me one, final question:
"So, uh, do we need to have an intro, 3 body paragraphs, and a conclusion? 'Cause, like, I didn't know what to put in the third paragraph."
"Well," I said, "you do need an intro and a conclusion, but you can use as many paragraphs as you need."
He looks at me suspiciously. "Really?"
"Really," I said. "If you need 2, use 2. If you need 4, use 4."
"But I thought..."
"You thought wrong."
"Um, okay. So, as many paragraphs as I need?"
"Yes, liberating, isn't it?"
4 years ago