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AEinMd Oh, when I meant *lots* of papers...
Capt. Lookatmy Broadside
14099 posts
Joined: Jul 17, 2005

Posted at 8:05 pm on Jul 17, 2012

I meant lots. I know in one class (actually a govt class) she had over 20 papers, each about 4-5 pages long. She also had 3 additional, longer papers.

I can only remember one science or radiology class of mine ever requiring a research paper. My pure science classes were always graded on problem sets, labs and exams. I always preferred papers so I would have preferred a science class with papers.

So, yeah, I think there's a LOT of variability and I do tend to think some of it may vary between state universities and small liberal arts schools. I think Eng and social studies classes are always going to have lots of papers but I don't think that's necessarily true of science, math or business where they tend to have problems to solve. In my big state school, our profs were not at all interested in grading tons of 'extra' papers. They published and often had larger classes so we had 3 major grades with at least 1 term paper. (Sometimes, the smaller grade was a couple of small papers but those were often graded by teaching assistants.) Dd's classes are much smaller, really, really hard and professors are expected to teach *well*. (They are also expected to publish but they will be let go for either reason whereas, at my state school, even at my sister's huge ivy, a brilliant researcher could be unintelligible to students and you were sort of stuck with him/her!)

All that said, writing well is very, very helpful in college. I think it is possible to get through without writing well but I think after critical thinking, it is probably the most essential skill, don't you?

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