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Newspaper Questions Prof's Write Stuff

Via How Appealing comes a pointer to an intriguing piece in today's St. Petersburg Times: Errors Mar Law Prof's Paper. It relates the story of Victoria Dawson, director of the legal writing program at Florida A&M University College of Law, who is coming under attack for, of all things, her inability to write well. One student claimed in an e-mail to the newspaper that Dawson "can neither write nor spell," adding, "This is not an exaggeration."

The news article, by reporter Ron Matus, focuses on a scholarly paper Dawson wrote in 2004 about environmental dispute resolution. The paper, Matus writes, "was so riddled with grammatical errors and mangled writing that some FAMU law students are now using it to help build a case that Dawson is not qualified to teach." Matus went so far as to have the paper reviewed by an English education professor at the University of South Florida, who said it was "sloppily written, in need of serious proofreading," and who wondered if it made sense.

Matus provides several excerpts from Dawson's paper that he says show it to be "peppered with spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors." But the larger issue, he says, is the quality of the law school's faculty. He explains: "The school, which opened in Orlando in 2002, is in the midst of an intense review by the American Bar Association to gain full accreditation. And among the areas that will get scrutiny: faculty quality."

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on June 6, 2007 at 03:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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