“How many bodies are we supposed to have” and other questions that don’t make much sense Uncategorized / Writing & Grammar

Hi everyone:

Okay, so I have seen some pretty weird questions in my time as a college professor but the one you see above takes the cake. [If you don’t know what that saying means, please ask your grandmother.]

Students were required to write a business report that contained a cover page, letter of transmittal, Table of Contents, Introduction, Body, Conclusion, Recommendations, References page, and appendix (if needed). Do you see more than one body there? I don’t.

The student in question wrote an outline that had two bodies: one was in the proper place and the other was under the conclusion. When I told her that her format was messed up, she asked “How many bodies do we need?” The only difference between her question and mine herein is that there was no capitalization and no punctuation in hers. She is a senior in college. Oh, my.

This leads me to question the dearth of common sense by some college students. The instructions, which were written by the chair of my department (a very smart man who has a gift for writing clear instructions), were excellent. I could read them upside down and still understand them.

So, my question for you is: How many bodies do you need in a typical assignment? I would love to get your count on this.


Dr. Sheri


Sheri Dean Parmelee has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She writes books on practical tips for people who become unexpectedly unmarried and is working on her second novel in a series of contemporary romance/suspense novels. She teaches at three colleges, working with students from freshmen to graduate students. Her hobbies include running 8 miles a day and reading biographies and fiction.

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