We hit that point during our semester where if you don’t have an essay, exam, or project to hand in in the coming weeks (or even this week), you’re in luck. As this is our second full semester of mostly online courses, the workload has felt endless. One thing I’m grateful for is that the longest article I’ve had to write this semester (fingers crossed) was five pages long. Most professors have never asked me to write more than 10 pages for an article, but with many of my peers having to write excruciatingly long articles for their undergraduate courses, I think this requirement is too much to ask.
It contradicted everything high school teachers had cracked in my brain about college classes in general. Besides the idea that university would be inevitable, I learned about the so-called 40-page articles that my professors had to write in their university courses. Thinking about writing something this long is quite unheard of right now, and honestly, if I was credited with it, I would consider dropping the course. Yes, writing longer articles can prepare you for graduate school, but how many students are planning to go? According to the Post Secondary National Policy Institute, in 2015, only 12% of adults aged 25 and over had a graduate degree.
Now, I don’t shame those who go to college; I still consider this option myself as it would be interesting to know more about my field of study. However, going to college is often seen as an immense privilege, and even so, trying to frame such long work to prepare students for education after four long years of undergraduate studies seems powerful.
Teachers should also remember that students don’t just take their lessons. The average student takes four to six classes per semester, and that doesn’t even include their social life, clubs, and work. Forcing students to write a long piece of paper that they will probably forget by the next semester does no one favors. Also, professors and teaching assistants (TAs) are the people who have to sit down and grade all of these essays, which I doubt they have enough time for whether they have the help or not. TAs. Ultimately, assigning shorter examinations would not only make the teacher’s life easier, but it would also provide less stress for students and teaching assistants.
Writing articles isn’t something all college students know how to do either, which is why many will buy essays from online buyers, plagiarize other work, or both. According to NPR interviews with students, some students have purchased these essays to help them follow through for the rest of their lives. Whether you like these controversial homework help companies or not, I would blame universities for working so hard with their students that they feel like they have gone beyond their options and therefore have to buy ghost paper.
Ultimately, I think it’s time for professors to really think about the requirements of their pages for their students. If you wouldn’t want to write such a long article, do you think your students would? Teachers are individuals too, so it’s counterproductive to assign such extensive work to your students and then dread the idea of writing everything down. Teachers, do yourself a favor and rethink your lesson plans if your program requires some sort of detailed document. I promise it will help you and your students.