Letter to the Editor

Our writing standard assess the ability of students who graduate from Castleton to think critically and formulate ideas independently; it does not assess “hand-writing skills.” Such skills are useful, but they are not “vital for a college student to master,” as your reporter erroneously believes I said in an interview in the last issue of The Spartan (“Writing standards will remain the same,” Jan 31, 2007). He simply missed the point.We ask students to write, without the aid of a grammar or a spell check, so that we can assess how they think and present an argument or choose evidence to bolster a thesis. This ability IS vital, and we assess it in many different forms. If we were interested in assessing hand writing ability alone, we would use workbooks and have students copying letters and words correctly. Currently, the essay is hand written because that is the means that is available to all; when each seat at the college has an attached keyboard, then students can type

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