Courtesy of Tribune News Service

Opinion: Teachers' reading and writing requirements go overboard

Professors at the University of South Carolina love to make their students read and write, but go a little overboard sometimes.

As a student coming into college, there should be some expectation that you are going to have to both read and write for at least some of the classes you are required to take. These are very important skills to keep polished, especially when applying for jobs, graduate school, nursing school or law school.

Reading and writing are valuable skills that are vital to thriving in the world today and it’s important to practice those skills. Any way you look at it, there is no getting away from having to read and write while in college.

However, some professors go a little too far with assigning reading and writing, and I’m saying that as an English student who expects to read copious amounts of literature and other articles.

I have had multiple professors who overstuff their semester plan with so many texts that we don’t have time to properly cover them. It is very unlikely that a class can discuss a whole novel properly and in depth in just two days. If the teacher assigns too much work, then there isn't time to fully explore what is being taught. This overload of work doesn’t further enrich students.

I have also had professors that were extremely passionate about the subject they taught, but because they wanted to stuff in as much as possible, some of the work was cut out to compensate for a lack of time to cover it all properly.

When a schedule is properly spaced out and created with the proper amount of texts to cover, the students are better able to understand the material and the professor can go more in-depth, giving students a more enriched learning experience even though there is less material.

When it comes to writing, there is also a fine line between the perfect amount and too much.

Writing assignments allow students to convey what they have learned so far and put their own spin and opinions on what they have learned. In an essay-based class, well-spaced essays throughout a semester are usually perfectly acceptable. However, some writing assignments aren’t as useful.

I have had teachers assign a ten-minute writing assignment for almost every class, due at the time the class ends. The assignment was meant to say something you would have added to the conversation in class that day, but it wastes time the professor could be using to teach material and becomes a time filler.

There is a fine balance professors are expected to master when creating a lesson plan for their semesters, but not all of them can achieve that perfect equilibrium between too much and too little.


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