Is It Time to Get Rid of College Essays?

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Today’s vocationally minded students view World Lit 101 as forced labor, an utterwasteof their time that deserves neither engagement nor effort. So you know what else is a waste of time? Grading these students’ effing papers.

In a prickly and provocative essay for Slate, Rebecca Schuman argues that universities should stop forcing students in required classes to writer papers and instead give them “old-school, hardcore exams, written and oral.

Her argument doesn’t put a lot of faith in students, but she does make some interesting points.


Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →