After a decade of living abroad, in fall 2016 I returned to the US and accepted a position as Assistant Professor at a state university in the Midwest. Eager and hyper-alert, I began noticing that American students, both graduate and undergraduate, were encountering significant difficulties in writing academic papers. I was dumbfounded. Having spent many years in Russia and China teaching non-native English speakers to read, write, and communicate in academic English, the ineptness of these American students baffled me. They, after all, spoke English as their native language.