>An actual sentence from a piece of informal student writing:
Textual evidence from the poem indicates there is no heir to Beowulf.
I don’t know why, but I find this utterly charming.
For those of you who don’t have Beowulf fresh in your minds, the hero, in his dying moments, actually says, outright, that he would give his armor to a son if he had one. It’s not exactly a textual puzzle, even in Old English, and certainly not in the translation my students are reading. I think this is coming from my tendency to write “you need textual evidence here” in the margins when students says something interpretative or analytical without evidence. But this is factual — it just needs line numbers for reference (which he doesn’t provide, but oh well). Apparently I’ve trained them too well already and now they’re salivating when a bell rings!