What’s the point?

Featured Opinion Opinion

Midterms are here, stress levels are rising and the end of the semester is just around the corner. I hope that if you have end-of-the-semester projects that you have started them because they’ll be due before you know it. However, for those of us that have to write 20 plus page papers, we have sleepless nights and gallons of caffeine in our future. My only question: what is the point of having to write such long and tedious papers that we’re never going to either see or look at again?
I am not criticizing any specific professors, but as a senior I am literally exhausted from writing such lengthy papers for multiple classes. I took my general education classes in English which taught me how to do research a topic and how to properly structure a paper. I know I cannot be the only one that feels this way since every student is required to take English 100, 104 and 108 and successfully passed all (even though one was taken at Missouri State.)
Something else that confuses me about these papers is that they are supposed to make us more informed on the subject and basically become experts. While I have gained a lot of information on the subjects I have written on for my political science classes, other students and I are more concerned about meeting the minimum page or word count instead of actually learning something. We want a good grade and we’ll find information just to fill space. We all do it.
I do think there can be a very beneficial compromise when it comes to assigning a research paper. It’s simple: don’t put a page or word count minimum. Assign a topic that allows us to decide what will best give an argument and allow us to add more of our own opinion (if an argumentative paper.) I think that this will allow students to better filter what sources will actually drive their point of view instead of just adding fluff in order to fill pages.

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