To Laugh? Or to Cry?


I was grading the assignments for my Design Fundamentals class today. The assignment was to create a simple sort launch kit for an imaginary bottled drink based on any one of the six Avengers and on at least one particular artistic style. The kit was to consist of a booklet introducing the product and explaining the design rationale, a bottle (they didn’t have to make the bottle, just create a label for it), and a box containing both the bottle and the booklet.

Their designs were a bit unsatisfactory except for a couple of them, but I’m not talking about that here. It’s the content in the booklets. Specifically the writing in them. Makes me so glad I don’t teach English.

I think some of them just can’t read or don’t want to read. It’s stated in the brief that the design rationale must be included in the booklet. Spelled out clearly. R-a-t-i-o-n-a-l-e.

But I get:




How do you spell it wrong when I’ve spelled it for you??

If I was grading their language skills, they’d score a lot lower. Fortunately for them, I just needed extremely basic content to be present. But I still read everything anyway. (Everything that was not copied from a website, at least. Some of it – especially character descriptions and background – was clearly copied but I let that slide as long as they had more important stuff like the design rationale present.)

Have some samples:

My product is a cup of bottle. The drink is the soft drink because of nowadays everyone love to drink the soft drink. I create out a different soft drink that is after we drink, we will feel relax and cool down and won’t moody when we face the problems in our life. …

A cup of bottle?

I’m create my packaging design with the movie that call THE AVENGERS. … And my inspiration reseach from the Avengers movie poster at beside the road…

Research from the movie poster by the road… Really.

My Product is a health product, i use the soya milk to be my water . Becausee soya milk can give people feel health. I choose soya milk for my charater iron  because i wan tell people when u drink more soya milk den u can change like iron man like that got full power to do anthing.

Soya milk will be your water? Okay, whatever you say. But arrrrrgh, “u” and “wan” and “den” and “i.” SO irritating.

The bottle is a allumiunm tin which can found at any shop. The label is measure and fit the tin.

The bottle is a tin? (This student submitted an aluminium can instead of a bottle, and she insists she told me and I approved the idea. I suspect she told me and I completely misunderstood her and approved it. Well, partly my fault then. Whatever. You’d think that an aluminium can is slightly easier to measure than a bottle, since it’s basically the same size all round whereas bottles tend to curve and be thicker at the base, thinner near the top. But no. Apparently it is not possible to create a simple rectangular wraparound label for an aluminium can that fits correctly.)

Finally, our main foams, which is our Limited edition Pepsi bottle with Captain America rush to catch the Pepsi bottle.

Barely comprehensible. I imagine it should be “focus” instead of “foams.”

The captain Ameria i was knew that he is smaller before get the experience to became stronger man. … He’s had a truely heard to fight in war far.

“Truely heard to fight in war far.” I don’t know what exactly that’s supposed to mean.

Below that picture, im drawing like a comic style. … Because, weapon she can guide and protect her self savety. Weapon is fast than our reflection. … Beside that,i din’t draw my picture deviation for girl or boy, so, everyone can buy it go home and everyone will like it.


I choose the America Comic as the style which all the shadow on the muscle and light on the body.

This sentence isn’t making much sense either.

Captain American has always been in awe of the giant cloud mass that constitutes a thunderstorm. … Whether it is its far reaching tops, the amazing light show, or its rumbling war cry, the various dimensions of a storm hold their own impressive qualities.

Clearly everything in that paragraph except for “Captain American” (why the extra ‘N’ at the end??) was copied from somewhere. (Right here. The whole first paragraph after “Anatomy of a Thunderstorm.”) I could have let it go, except… thunderstorms don’t have anything to do with Cap. What was the whole point?? To remind me that the backgrounds of the design were clearly images of clouds and storms taken from the Internet? Ridiculous.

Realism are term that describe manifestations of philosophical realism, the belief that reality exists independently of observers. Scientific realism and realism in the arts are two of a number of different sense the words take it other fields. In this broad sense Realism frequently contrasts with Idealism. So I feel my charaters iron man is very suit to realism. Because iron man is a playboy and he use the power all is the technology. So is look like very realism.

Pop quiz! Which sentences are copied and which are original to the student?


  1. Gosh, I cringed right through the whole post. :/
    Maybe usage of the English language should carry SOME points in an assignment…

    • hahah If we gave points for grammar accuracy, these students would have an even more difficult time getting good grades since for most of them even just the design work is a struggle…

  2. o.O

    I thought my office was bad….
    At least I understand what they say with some direct translation.

  3. You can actually do something about it.

    My lecturer got so sick of it and told all his students that for every spelling and grammatical mistake made, he would deduct 1 point from the assignment total of 20 (which formed a part of our final course total). He further said that with spellcheck so readily available, he would not accept any excuses for stupid mistakes and he didn’t care that he wasn’t teaching English.

    As for plagiarism, he made it known there is software to cross-check against the internet and uni’s associate libraries. If found guilty, the entire assignment would receive zero marks.

    I highly recommend it!

    Idiots should not be let off the hook so easily — cheating their parents’ hard-earned money and cheapening the education of other students who are there to receive proper education and REAL qualifications.

Got anything to add or say? :D