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Debates in the Digital Humanities$
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Matthew K. Gold

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816677948

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816677948.001.0001

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What’s Wrong with Writing Essays

What’s Wrong with Writing Essays

(p.404) What’s Wrong with Writing Essays
Debates in the Digital Humanities

Mark L. Sample

University of Minnesota Press

In this chapter, the author expresses his disillusionment with the traditional student paper. He says that just as the only thing a standardized test measures is how well a student can take a standardized test, the only thing an essay measures is how well a student can conform to the rigid thesis/defense model that, in the hands of novice scholars, eliminates complexity, ambiguity, and most traces of critical thinking. He describes how he has integrated more and more public writing into his classes, in an attempt to instill in students the sense that what they think, what they say, and what they write matters—to him; to them; to their classmates; and, through open access blogs and wikis, to the world. He has also begun taking the words out of writing, asking students instead to express their ideas through images, sound, and objects.

Keywords:   student papers, essays, critical thinking, digital humanities, public writing

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