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« Three brief reviews | Main | Scattered Musings »

April 25, 2005


A. Cephalous

I've had a far different experience. The best papers I've graded all arrive either a page short (because the student's answered the prompt in crisp, concise prose) or with a final point appended to an otherwise crisp, concise argument solely to reach the page limit. I often wonder if some of my better students who fluff up some of their body paragraphs to meet the page requirement would turn in better essays if I allowed them to undershoot the assigned number of pages.

When the students are working on their own research--i.e. not from a strict prompt but from "general guidelines"--I always enforce the page limits because I want the students to develop their own arguments. (With a prompt, they're really developing someone else's, and some of them can breeze through that quickly.)

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