From the Chronicle of Higher Education comes some interesting statistics on college faculty versus high school teachers.
Writing papers in general:
More than 70 percent expect students to at least occasionally write papers of more than five pages. That is true of just 39 percent of high-school teachers. Sixty-one percent of teachers never ask students to write papers of more than five pages. That is true of only 28 percent of faculty members.
Writing papers in English:
Twenty-five percent of English teachers never assign longer papers, as compared with just 6 percent of their college counterparts.
Let me just say that I know why our students are failing college, if high school doesn’t require papers.
Writing short papers:
More than 80 percent of both college and high-school instructors require papers of one to five pages from time to time, and 40 percent of faculty members and 33 percent of teachers assign short papers at least a few times a month.
Of course, I’m not sure how often I assign a six page paper. The research paper. So once or twice a semester, depending. I don’t see what good there would be in requiring more long papers. Then the quality of both the research and the writing would plummet.
An English professor at a public university in Ohio says that “when I give reading quizzes, they frequently complain that the questions are too difficult. Several years ago, students were more likely to say that the quizzes were too easy.”
I haven’t really encountered this.