I Can't Think of a Title

I Can’t Think of a Title I sit here, staring up at the ceiling. What am I supposed to write? Maybe this, maybe that. The deadline seems far away, I’ve got time to choose. Switch this, switch that.

The deadline draws near. I’ve got nothing and now I’m out of time. Teachers shouldn’t allow students to choose their own writing topics because while many think it lets students grow on their own, it actually sets them back. First of all, freedom to choose often frustrates students because they can’t decide on a topic. This essay is a perfect example of this idea.

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I couldn’t decide on a topic for a week because there were too many options. I finally came upon this topic because of my indecisiveness. I wasted research time trying to find something to write about rather than backing up my topic and I was very frustrated. When students spend too much time switching and deciding what to write about, they don’t have enough time to work on the body of the essay- the important thing. If kids are assigned topics, they get them right away and can take advantage of the maximum work time.

Without meaning to, some students choose harder topics than others. It’s not their fault, some topics just fit better with certain essay structures. For my literary essay, I had a horrible book that I was currently reading and I had to do my literary essay on that. I really struggled and other kids that had good topics seemed to breeze through it. So, by letting students choose, you have some putting in more work than others.

If they get to choose, they might end up with more researching and more work to do. That’s not fair. They have to write the same type of essay for the same grade, but have to do more overall. The topics teachers would assign would all be about the same difficulty level so nobody gets the short end of the stick. In addition, when teachers give a lesson on how to write an essay or how to use a writing skill, sometimes lessons don’t always relate to students and they get confused or go off track. From my own experience, a few sessions have been hard to connect with my own topic and research.

At least once every unit, there’s a part where I get lost or confused and I know other people can agree. Kids are getting confused when they have to apply a lesson to their own work. Then they might be writing their papers wrong if they don’t really understand what to do. On the other hand, if everyone has a similarly built topic/essay (provided by the teacher), then they can all understand the lessons and learn how to correctly apply them to their own papers. A common debate surrounding this issue is that students don’t get to express themselves if topics are assigned.

People argue that the papers are often dry or poorly written because there isn’t the motivation to write them. However, students can still express themselves in how they write the papers (writing style), the topic shouldn’t matter. Assigned topics challenge students to put their learned skills to the test with any topic they get. Later in life, they can’t choose what they write about; they just have to write it and write it well. Many people are against assigned topics because they fear lack of expression and motivation and that it coddles students too much by letting them have tried and tested topics (aka easy or straightforward.) However, it actually helps them by letting them learn and understand the skills now by applying them to easy topics so they can use them in harder situations later.

It prepares kids for the more difficult writing later. It seems like a small change, but assigned topics will be beneficial to this generation and beyond, and teachers should practice this in schools.