Ready… Set… Write!

Cassie Weymouth, Staff Writer

Timed writing has seemingly become an intrinsic part of the high school English and History curriculum. Any junior can tell you of the excessive number of 45 minute essays they have completed this year alone; however I’ve yet to hear anyone express their enjoyment of them. Timed or not, most highschoolers don’t tend to enjoy essay writing in general. However, the art and appreciation of skilled writing has been buried under pounds of papers, timed writings and the over analyzation of every detail.

There is something to be said about the process of writing, reviewing, and editing. Writing is a valuable skill that could potentially take one very far. Regardless of what career you’re interested in, you will be required to write, whether it is an email or a novel. Timed writing has only taught students the art of cramming every possible thought and argument into a single paper with no particular skill or grace. Though the writing process may seem tedious, you gain an appreciation for the time it takes and become more invested in the piece of writing you have created. There’s a sense of pride you’ll feel when you’ve done something well without rushing to the end. That pride is completely lost once someone is forced to scribble to the last minute. I personally have written some things during timed writing that I wish could be burned.

The pressure of AP exams explains why English teachers tend to pound timed writings into their students at an excessive rate. No one’s writing or analysis of a work should be judged when they are given only an hour at most to complete the task. Too many impactful novels and poems have instead been deemed tedious, boring and overall irritating by students. Rather than allowing individuals to read and gather what it means to them, students are instead trying to come up with a meaning behind white curtains. 

Writing is something that is meant to be reflective of an author, their own experiences and thoughts, not carbon copies of sentence starters. There is more to writing than just shoving every piece of useful evidence into a mass of writing. The ability to skillfully draw out an argument or analysis has been overrun by the need to simply get everything down on the piece of paper in time. 

Writing is not only a skill necessary to succeeding in life, but an art that could be enjoyed and improved upon if students were given the chance. Though, with exams and finals breathing down our neck, the timer will keep on ticking and timed writing will remain a core part of the English and History curriculums at Dulaney.