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Writing this might make me a marked man in the eyes of many academics. You can make a living creating You Tube videos, posting pictures on Instagram, tweeting out 280 characters of passing thoughts.Saying “essays are useless” is enough to summon hordes of tweed-clad humanities professors to riot in the streets and demand my head. These are challenging careers that can be very rewarding. Teachers continue to push academic essay writing as though it were the most critical task you’ll ever undertake.It’s like deciding to go on a peaceful hike only to sprint up the mountain, ignoring the scenery. So, when they have to do it, they want to cut corners. Essay writing should be scary because you should be risking your beliefs. Writing academic essays to prepare for your job is like trying to learn how to be a master carpenter by The main struggle students have when they graduate is that most companies prioritize hiring people with experience.
We’ve gone from a society that’s criticized people for spending too much time on Facebook to one where you get promoted for knowing how to use it. We design pivotal tests to enforce this even though the process has no significant bearing on life outside of the classroom.
Dated teaching practices are detrimental to success and need to be stopped.
It wasn’t until later on that year when I started focusing more on alternatives to academic essay writing that I started seeing greater success with my students. State and district tests directly affect a teacher’s job security.
The few I had received only inspired a deeper feeling of failure with how far they missed the mark. Academic essays weren’t the only thing that pushed me out of the classroom and away from the kids, but they made up a significant chunk of it. Throngs of new teachers rush toward schools each year wanting to make a difference only to run away quickly. And you don’t need a study to point out that the lack of consistency is detrimental to student learning.
What I’m talking about in this post is academic essay writing.
I’m talking about the full-on, boring, dated, stuffy, no conversational tone, MLA/APA formatted essays topped with a bibliography or works cited if you can remember which one is which, the ones we all had hammered into us from high school through to college.More programs should emphasize practical knowledge. Instead, they focus on dated or useless material while forcing students to churn out stacks of essays in order to pass. For years I stood in front of my students and lied to them. In theory (like many things in academia) essays should be effective. My last year, I had everyone in my class share their essays with me on Google Drive right at the beginning.Over and over again, I emphasized the importance of academic essay writing. Unfortunately, pragmaticism devours ideologies before breakfast. This meant that all 90-ish of my students shared the documents that would eventually turn into their essays with me.That’s why it can be terrifying for graduating students.It’s hard to adjust to life outside of school because we’ve spent years studying ideologies, not pragmatism.Then you go on to the next lesson, the next semester, the next course way before you’ve had time to analyze what you’ve discovered. After 8 years of study (high school and college), the result is that a vast population of people hate writing and joke about how worthlessly expensive a college education is over happy hour drinks that they struggle to afford. Some students leveraged existing work experience to pivot into new positions. I certainly don’t think it’s worth the investment because these programs typically don’t emphasize real-world skills.It’s like trying to build a house on top of a foundation that hasn’t had time to set. Only here it isn’t a house that caves in, but your perception of reality.“I do my best work under pressure, in the last minute,” is a tiring motto far too many people believe. Brisket takes hours to smoke; wine needs weeks to ferment; cakes must cool for an eternity before frosting. Essay writing needs to be an organic expedition towards deeper understanding; rushing that journey defeats the purpose. Instead, it’s just one essay after another with a few college parties peppered between late night library cramming sessions.Most any form of writing on a topic is technically an essay.This blog post is an essay; many vlogs are essays; even tweets can be essays.The result is that most people learn how to find out their own version of the truth by Googling loaded questions and then rushing the final product. And so then you get stuck working the job you had in university while learning a new set of skills so that you can find a “real job.” Meanwhile, what you studied in school sits unneeded and unused on some distant shelf in the back corner of your mind. You’ll save money and have a better understanding of the world than you’d have if you spent 4 years crushing red Solo cups and stacking mounds of passable essays. Ultimately, they end up not only hating essay writing but writing in general.Wasn’t university supposed to prepare you for a career? There are a lot of great things about teaching, grading essays isn’t one of them. And that’s when people start turning to shadier practices. As someone who uses several online platforms to find clients, I can tell you that I’ve seen my fair share of job postings from students looking for people to write their essays. And yet, academic essay writing shuts down the dialogue.