Down with Research Papers, Up with Essays

George Leef

That’s the argument Professor Thomas Bertonneau makes in this week’s Pope Center Clarion Call.

Research papers, he contends, merely encourage students to cobble together opinions by “research” that consists mostly of copying from several sources. Better to have students write essays, which call for their own thinking and don’t readily lend themselves to plagiarism — the topic of Bertonneau’s previous piece.

I think he is mostly correct, although in some upper-division courses with serious students, research papers are still appropriate. Whether the written assignments take the form of research papers, essays, or something else, it’s crucial that the faculty members pore over them line by line to help students learn to write well, a point made by Professor Murray Sperber in this Clarion Call.

  • Share

Most Commented

July 25, 2022


Against Transgenderism

The ideology of transgenderism strives to slam shut any door that offers opposition to its attempts to acquire power and control. This statement explains our opposition to such an ideology i......

July 15, 2022


New: Association of American Medical Colleges Releases Official DEI Curriculum Standards

The Association of American Medical Colleges' new DEI competencies will hamper free expression, politicize medical education, and encourage physicians to engage in misbegotten activ......

July 19, 2022


The AAMC Prescribes a Daily Dose of DEI

The Association of American Medical Colleges has completely ignored all criticism and has doubled-down on its radical agenda, consequences be damned....

Most Read

May 15, 2015


Where Did We Get the Idea That Only White People Can Be Racist?

A look at the double standard that has arisen regarding racism, illustrated recently by the reaction to a black professor's biased comments on Twitter....

October 12, 2010


Ask a Scholar: What is the True Definition of Latino?

What does it mean to be Latino? Are only Latin American people Latino, or does the term apply to anyone whose language derived from Latin?...

June 21, 2022


How Many Confucius Institutes Are in the United States?

UPDATED: We're keeping track of all Confucius Institutes in the United States, including those that remain open, those that closed, and those that have announced their closing....