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Are essays truly a fair way to judge a student considering that writing is subjective?





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I am a college freshman. One thing I've noticed in college is that there are a lot of essays.My high school required a writing course as a senior to teach us how to write college level papers. Our college requires freshman to take a writing course on how to write papers too, so we had to write four essays for that class.My point is.....we are supposed to be prepared to write papers the "right" way, but since writing is subjective, are essays a fair way to grade a student at all? Both of my writing classes were much different in what they said.I am asking this because I'm a little frustrated with how my college course taught me to write. The teacher taught our class to write everything as if talking. He said there is nothing wrong with using first person in an essay. Yet, I applied some of his techniques to another class this semester and the teacher totally roasted me and I got a C- on the essay.However, had I given that essay to my writing teacher, he may have given me an A.So are essays truly a fair way to grade a student?



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2 Responses so far.

  1. acrogamous says:

    There are objective criteria for grading essays. Most professors will be able to agree on whether a paper is well organized, intelligible, convincingly argued (with evidence) and grammatically clean. Most professors can and do grade essays fairly.There’s a very small amount of subjectivity that comes into play in terms of the professor’s preferences and opinions. *Usually* small. In this case, your writing professor is just plain wrong if he expects you to use a conversational style in ALL writing; clearly the register of your writing should change with the type of assignment you are doing, and it is not always appropriate to use first person. This is where it becomes useful to learn a professor’s expectations early on and to tailor your writing for that class. When you get conflicting advice, try to judge which is universally sound and which is particular to a certain professor or a certain type of assignment. If in doubt, ask around.

  2. cheerful says:

    Yes, writing shows competence, understanding, ability to turn thoughts into words and form proper sentences. Of course it is a fair way of measuring intelligence and competence through creativity and critical thinking skills.