Say No to Senior CRP


If you walk into the library during the second half of any given semester, you may notice girls frantically typing away on laptops, crowding around book carts, or researching with Ms. Lemon in the corner. Meaning: it’s CRP season.

Critical Research Papers are a standard part of every English class (with the exception of Literary Analysis) here at Pres. They teach students the proper way to research material and how to argue and support a specific idea. Papers start in the sophomore year at a relatively reasonable five pages, while upper division honors/English courses require papers of 12-15 pages.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

According to school policy, turning in a CRP is a requirement for earning credit in an English course. Therefore, if a students does not turn in her final paper, she will not graduate. While the paper is important, there is no one assignment that should ever prevent a student from graduating.

By the time students reach their senior year they will have written anywhere between 6-8 CRP’s (for both English and history). Throughout their time at Pres, students will have perfected their skills in research, outlining, and writing. The skills of how to identify solid research, create source notes and manage time have already been established by senior year. Therefore, producing one last CRP is not necessary. It will not enhance students’ knowledge because they will not be learning any new skills.

Yes, CRP writing is great practice to perfect a student’s writing skills. But they could easily develop the same strong skills by writing smaller essay assignments instead of a full scale research paper.

Additionally, by the end of the semester, senioritis is in full swing. As much as teachers hate it, it is a reality. Seniors tend to not put their best effort into assignments and procrastinate work until the last minute. Motivation is low and, let’s face it, teachers would rather not waste their time reading 15 pages of writing that students made up at midnight the day before.

Seniors have been working hard all year to stay on top of their assignments while trying to get into college. The end of the semester is finally the time for students to enjoy their last semester of high school before graduating. However, CRP’s require a lot of time, commitment, and effort, making it hard to take a break.

Even though the college application process may be over, there is still a long list of to-dos on the senior agenda. The end of the year marks senior exit interviews, AP  tests, the beginning of summer jobs, all coupled with seniors trying to get their grades up in order to be exempt from the dreaded finals week. Adding a research paper on top of it all is impractical and creates busy, unnecessary work for seniors who have other important commitments.

I’m not saying that CRP’s are pointless, or suggesting to get rid of them altogether. They are integral to learning how to write properly for the future, especially as students prepare for college-level courses. However, having a CRP determine a student’s ability to graduate is ridiculous because students’ hard work over four years should not be dependent upon the completion  of one paper.

Success is cumulative, not determined by one single instance. Second semester of senior year should celebrate memories and accomplishments over the past four years, and one paper should not keep students from enjoying their last months in the Pres halls.