The College Paper

Here’s a proposal to get rid of college essays. There is some merit in parts of this, but it also seems to me to be a capitulation to the age. I think in some cases this is a good idea, and in other cases re-thinking what the writing assignments look like is a good option (e.g., things that are less able to be bought and paid for), but in the end being able to write and express yourself is part of what it means to be educated. Nevertheless, this sounds familiar:

I’ve graded drafts and assigned rewrites, and that helps the good students get better, but the bad students, the ones I’m trying to help, just fail to turn in any drafts at all. Meanwhile, I come up for air and realize that with all this extra grading, I’m making 75 cents an hour.


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