All posts by G. Kim Blank

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Let’s Kill the Term Paper

At this very moment, thousands of college composition courses will demand that tens of thousands of freshmen write hundreds of thousands of papers.

The practice, hustled from its German origins early in the 20th century, began earnestly enough: It was one way for students to demonstrate that they could absorb what they had read, in a form fairly close to what we now call a research paper. The practice exploded in the second half of the century, and it continues today, having also devolved into v…