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May 04, 2005

Shock: Longer Essays Get Better Grades

... and shockingly enough, this rule applies to the SAT essay section as well.

Come on now. Is this news?

There's that old joke about professors throwing a stack of essays up a flight of stairs. The essays that fall the shortest distance -- the heaviest ones -- get A's. The ones that make it to the top get D's or C-'s.

The only thing that kept me from flunking out of every school I ever went to was my ability to write quickly, fluently, and interminably. I knew ass about whatever subject I was writing about, but damn, could I pad those bastards out with irrelevant asides about stuff I dimly remembered from other courses ("This recalls the invective of the Roman poet Catullus" or "Let us turn now to Bernouli's Theorem regarding expanding gases" or even "You don't know what sort of man you are until you look a rutting warthog right in his sex-crazed eyes and are forced to make the difficult decision between survival and animal-inflicted sodomy") and basically bluff the harried TA into thinking that somewhere in my blue-book epics I would finally reach a answer to the question actually posed.

Luckily, they stop reading after the first few pages. And past the first few pages, I was pretty much limited to recounting old episodes of Simon & Simon.

As any longtime readers of this blog can attest, I'm a big believer in the concept that quantity is easily confused for quality.


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posted by Ace at 02:16 PM

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