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Monday, June 4, 2018

Thornton P. Knowles On Trying One's Best

During my teaching years, almost all of my interaction with writing students had to do with grade dissatisfaction. In angling for a higher grade students would often assert that they had worked extremely hard on the assignment and had done the very best they could. Why, they asked, didn't that earn them an A? I told most of them that, based on the poor quality of their work, I sincerely hoped they were lying about doing their very best. But more important, I wanted them to learn that sometimes one's very best is simply not good enough. Even worse, better writing than theirs can come from writers who put in very little effort. They didn't like hearing this. No one does. But it's true. As they say, truth hurts.

Thornton P. Knowles

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