Whether you are in middle school, high school, or college, you have probably wondered why instructors assign writing projects so often. It might seem like the moment you are finished with one essay, you are quickly assigned another one. There are several reasons why this dreaded assignment is given so often. Here are five of them:
- They show your thinking. When teachers want to know whether or not you understand a concept, your writing is one of the best tools to use for gathering that information. Students might think they can “fake it” by writing an essay that is loaded with random information, but teachers can quickly see through it.
- They are better assessments than tests. Teachers get really tired of giving tests. Sure, they are easy to grade, but they do not capture the true learning that students have. Some students are good test takers rather than good learners, so they can artificially inflate their grades by looking for clues in test questions. This does not show learning – it simply shows that students know how to read a test questions. When it comes to writing an essay, there is no way to fake it, unless a student decides to buy on from an outside source. Teachers can easily remedy this by having the paper written completely in class.
- They show several skills. When teachers give a writing assignment, they get to see how their students think, organize, argue, and write. These skills are not evident in many other school assignments. Teachers can help students work through the project without giving out answers. Teachers can see true growth in a variety of areas with writing assignments.
- They teach patience. It can be difficult for students to take their time with assignments. Many just try to get through them as quickly as possible. With an essay, students have to go through the steps of brainstorming, planning, organizing, writing, editing, and revising. This can be a serious exercise in patience that students get in so few other assignments.
- They allow students to work together. Writing assignments allow students to collaborate. They can work together when they are trying to compile topics and titles. They can also work together when they outline and organize the paper. They can even work together to edit and revise. When students have questions about their papers, they can ask their classmates for help working through a difficult passage. The opportunities for collaboration are bountiful.