Writing lengthy research papers is beneficial not only in the short run in preparation for the college workload, but also for reaping skills used in the workplace. Washington Post author, Jay Mathews, is in accordance with this point of view. His belief that the “responsibility (of teaching students how to write) falls more heavily on college professors…than it should” is certainly a cry heard throughout the country. Still, the majority of high school students will surely prefer to keep the writing to a minimum without thinking of the future consequences.
First off, writing research papers helps students excel not only by giving them a greater sense of structural format but also by magnifying the extent of their memory more so than any short essay could accomplish. The repetitive process of fitting every body paragraph of a research paper under a single thesis statement found in an introduction paragraph can only be mastered by taking multiple research papers through the full writing process. The actual researching that takes place in this writing process serves as a way to expand one’s knowledge base on any given topic. For example researching an era in history such as colonialism and then extending this research into a paper ensures that a significant amount of the information will be glued to one’s memory. A conclusion paragraph at the end of a research paper reviews and locks away all the newly learned factual information while enforcing a more concrete understanding of the typical writing format.
Every day people are required to explain their worked-out solutions to some problem. This thinking process of detailing a solution is progressed when writing a research paper. After all, a research paper in simple terms is only elaborating on a relatively basic thesis statement. Unfortunately, not all students view the writing process behind research papers in such a simplistic manner. For this reason a percentage of students “felt that long papers were not necessary but that emphasizing writing across the disciplines would be enough for students to learn how to focus on a topic and follow through with concepts”. Since that is how many high school curriculums act and still one can find a handful of students that feel ill-equipped for college-level writing, clearly the current curriculum is not working at an acceptable level.
An increase in research paper assignments would lead to an increase in the confidence level of freshmen college writers. This confidence boost would then carry on into the professional world creating a more intellectual working class. However, not all high school students are ready to take on the responsibility of bettering their futures. Thus, the responsibility lies on high school teachers to give all students an extra push to become better writers with better futures.
Quotes taken from “Should students write long papers? On that, they have plenty to say.” written by Jay Mathews for Washington Post.