An Exercise in Futility

I am a student now.  You may or may not know this about me.  While I value higher education and believe in pushing myself and understand the need for measuring students’ participation/learning objectives, I often find that traditional assignments with strict grading procedures to be rather irritating.

Take for example, a paper with a page minimum.  I find it silly to impose a page minimum on an assignment when students (who are writers) may vary in writing style, some being verbose and others more concise.  A 1-page research paper may not meet the objective of the assignment but a 23 rather than 25 page research paper very well may.  If you have made your point, supported it, and done so eloquently, is that not enough?

My favorite English Literature and Writing teacher in high school, Mrs. Coulter used to insist that it was quality over quantity.  Yes, she gave length suggestions but we were not down-graded if the page or word minimum was not met if the point came across eloquently and made the point.

Maybe this is a lesson applicable to all aspects of life, in the professional world they say to work smarter not harder.  The same can be said for workouts, fiscal responsibility, eating, etc.  Ok, now I am letting my philosophical mind procrastinate as I am at page 24.5 of that 25 page final paper.  But you do get the point.  Some people feel the need to quantify things (page numbers of research projects) rather than assess them on a quality level (qualitatively).  I think this is a feeble approach to analysis and ought to be reconsidered.

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