We asked teachers: "What are the phrases in student writing that make you cringe, wail, and gnash your teeth?" From hundreds of responses, we narrowed it down to this carefully chosen list.
#1: "Since the beginning of time…"
#2: "My paper is going to be about …."
#4: "Kind of"
#5 "A wise man once said..."
Variation: We don't want to hear about wise women either.
Example: "A wise man once said: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" and that's why its better to hold on to your money."
Why It's Outlawed: Who is this "wise man" you speak of? If you can find the source, identify it. If you are quoting a commonly used idiom or cliché, chances are you should cross it out and use your own words instead.
#6 The reason why is because…
When you write those words, your reader wants to kill you and so do we.
Example: "Macbeth and Lady Macbeth decide to murder King Duncan. The reason why is because they aren't very nice and want Macbeth to become the next king."
Why It's Outlawed: The phrase "the reason why is because" is grammatically incorrect and unnecessary. Cross out these four words, "The reason why is," and combine the remaining words with the previous sentence to make one sentence. Then, re-read the sentence. It still makes sense, doesn't it?
#7 "It’s just my opinion but …"
#8 "Like, like, like, like"
#9 "Umm, things"
#10. "I hope you liked this essay. That’s all I have to say."
#11 "LOL "
Like our list? Download it in a href="http://www.weareteachers.com/hot-topics/topics-in-education/11-essay-phrases-to-outlaw">poster version.