College prep without the prep

On Community College SpotlightHigh schools don’t teach students to write a research paper, college students complain.

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  1. dangermom says:

    Javier is right. If high schools aren’t doing research papers anymore, that needs to change. Even my abysmal high school had me write a couple of 10-page papers–I still wasn’t really prepared for a demanding college, but I could at least do that!

  2. When can we banish storywriting, journaling and ME,ME,ME! stuff? Everyone needs to be able to write a decent business letter and give clear directions (among other things), even if they are not planning on college. College prep kids need to learn how to do BALANCED,CRITICAL research, choose a position and defend it with evidence, in clear and organized prose and in proper format.

  3. Well, as someone who has reviewed many resumes in his lifetime, it is no surprise that students cannot write a research paper.

    As a tenth grader back in 1979, we were required to take a class called ‘career education’ for a quarter of the school year. The instructor (a career military man) stated that by the time you leave this class, you will know how to read a job/help wanted ad, write a cover letter and a resume, fill out a job application, and review possible vocations of interest.

    The fact that students are leaving high school without actually writing a research paper is a joke (of course, I read a master’s thesis which had enough spelling and grammar errors to choke a horse).

    It is quite sad to see how far our educational standards have fallen in the last 25-30 years.

  4. As a new college graduate (non-trad, I’m 43) and retired Army guy, I was appalled at the poor writing skills of fellow students. I was constantly approached to review/edit other papers and just could not believe what they were turning in (and these were upperclassmen!): lack of a thesis (or a very weak one); no substantive evidence to support a thesis, poor introductions, poor conclusions, an inability to correctly interpret a professor’s instructions, etc. I also had the opportunity to be a freshman orientation peer mentor and those papers were even worse.

    Last year, my 6th grade daughter had to write a funny essay on why she would want to be a zombie. Well, it was better than most of the college papers I had read. It had a concise and good introduction, clear thesis statement, good supporting points, and a nice conclusion. It’s no wonder she won an ELA award last year!

    Writing a research paper will be a requirement in my classes.


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