Just Write It: Why the Senior CRP Requirement is Fair


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On May 12, 2016, I, as a second semester senior, turned in my last CRP here at Presentation. And rightfully so.

In order to complete English courses, Pres mandates that students in the course must complete a critical research paper. While this has been the norm for years across all grade levels, a contradictory and seemingly self-sabotaging trend has remained steady over recent years as well. That is, second semester seniors fail to turn in their final papers, and thus do not graduate on time.

Seniors, I get it. I really do. At this point in the semester with a college decision under your belt, senioritis is full-blown and it is hard to see the point in turning in one final paper.

However, valid reasons for this policy being in place actually do exist, contrary to popular belief. For the sake of classroom equality and preparation for the future, it is crucial that seniors are required to turn in their second semester CRPs.

It is no secret that these papers comprise a very large percentage of a student’s final English grade, often equalling the grade impact of a final exam. So, can we really say that classes containing a mix of juniors and seniors would have fair grading if seniors were not required to do their papers?

On top of not doing the paper, some seniors are in the position of being exempt from their finals. This senior would, then, only be liable for doing approximately 70% of the work as her junior counterpart in this class in order to achieve the same grades.

Of course, this is the dream for seniors. But if your mom let your older sibling skip out on 30% of their work simply because they were older, you know you would see this as unfair.

And while I do hate to spoil surprises, college papers are going to be a lot more difficult to write than our papers at Pres. Sure, seniors, you don’t see the point in doing seemingly extraneous work at the end of high school. You basically have already graduated.

But let me ask you this: if you were expected to run a marathon in a few months, would you just sit around and skip out on training, simply expecting that you’ll be fine without practice? Hopefully not. And that marathon, my friends, is what many people call “college.” You cannot simply skate by in high school and expect to do the same at whichever university you attend.

Pres cannot let seniors fall out of the habit of doing hard work and thinking critically just prior to fall, when they will be expected to write a three page paper in their sleep.

In fact, some colleges even have senior projects or similar assignments, so it would not be wise to let seniors get used to slacking off pre-graduation. You’re still in school until you get that diploma.

As I mentioned, Presentation seniors are already exempt from finals given that their grades are high enough, which is an incredible benefit. Just because seniors have worked for four years and enjoy certain privileges does not mean they can simply do whatever they want. Seniors would not expect to be able to never make up a test they missed and pass the class, so why would failure to turn in a major assignment fly?

I’m not going to deny the truth: CRPs are seriously not fun. But just like other terrible things such as exercising and eating vegetables, they make you stronger. So seniors, stop complaining and go write those papers.