Papers versus Exams

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ryegye87
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Papers versus Exams

Postby ryegye87 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:33 pm

I've got a 2L class that gives us the option between writing a paper or taking a final exam. The paper will count for our upper-level writing requirement and will consist of separate deadlines throughout the semester wherein we provide updated versions, etc. The final exam is your standard 3-4 hour exam.

Prior to this upcoming semester, I would have gone with a paper without any second thoughts. However, I did much better my second semester on exams and think I've finally get how to write a proper exam. Furthermore, this would be my first graded paper as a law student.

However, the obvious benefit of a paper is that its more within your control. I'll get more feedback throughout the semester, and have a better idea of what to expect from the professor.

Is there anyone else that has been in this position that can offer some perspective?

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kalvano
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Re: Papers versus Exams

Postby kalvano » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:46 pm

Exam all day. Papers require a much more massive investment of time to do well on.

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Detrox
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Re: Papers versus Exams

Postby Detrox » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:48 pm

kalvano wrote:Exam all day. Papers require a much more massive investment of time to do well on.


Generally agree with this; however, I would do it to get your upper level writing out of the way. You'll have to write a long paper at some point and it's much easier to get a twofer by having it be your final for a class and knock out the requirement. Also, it will force you to do it. Also also, it will put you on a good timeline if you have any desire to publish.

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acrossthelake
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Re: Papers versus Exams

Postby acrossthelake » Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:57 pm

Detrox wrote:
kalvano wrote:Exam all day. Papers require a much more massive investment of time to do well on.


Generally agree with this; however, I would do it to get your upper level writing out of the way. You'll have to write a long paper at some point and it's much easier to get a twofer by having it be your final for a class and knock out the requirement. Also, it will force you to do it. Also also, it will put you on a good timeline if you have any desire to publish.


+1 to Detrox. Writing requirement is annoying, knock it out if you can.

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kalvano
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Re: Papers versus Exams

Postby kalvano » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:05 pm

Detrox wrote:
kalvano wrote:Exam all day. Papers require a much more massive investment of time to do well on.


Generally agree with this; however, I would do it to get your upper level writing out of the way. You'll have to write a long paper at some point and it's much easier to get a twofer by having it be your final for a class and knock out the requirement. Also, it will force you to do it. Also also, it will put you on a good timeline if you have any desire to publish.



I completely missed the part about satisfying the writing requirement. Yeah, get that out of the way.

ryegye87
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Re: Papers versus Exams

Postby ryegye87 » Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:38 am

I guess I'm more concerned grade wise than time management/schedule wise. I realize its good to get out of the way, but I would have no problem getting it out of the way later. Due to having the last time slot in my class, I have a pretty hard schedule next semester as it is--with conflicts, admin, and fed tax all on my schedule (one of which I hope to drop in the event of a journal/moot court). The fact that you mention it is such a huge time commitment makes me waiver a bit. Do you think there are benefits to waiting until 3L year to write to take on optional papers given you have completed more writing by that time with notes and the like?

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nygrrrl
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Re: Papers versus Exams

Postby nygrrrl » Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:27 am

ryegye87 wrote:I guess I'm more concerned grade wise than time management/schedule wise. I realize its good to get out of the way, but I would have no problem getting it out of the way later. Due to having the last time slot in my class, I have a pretty hard schedule next semester as it is--with conflicts, admin, and fed tax all on my schedule (one of which I hope to drop in the event of a journal/moot court). The fact that you mention it is such a huge time commitment makes me waiver a bit. Do you think there are benefits to waiting until 3L year to write to take on optional papers given you have completed more writing by that time with notes and the like?

This makes me think you should REALLY do the paper - one less exam to worry about at the end of the semester. (That said, I LOVE paper classes but writing is my thing.)

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Detrox
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Re: Papers versus Exams

Postby Detrox » Sat Jul 07, 2012 3:45 pm

ryegye87 wrote:I guess I'm more concerned grade wise than time management/schedule wise. I realize its good to get out of the way, but I would have no problem getting it out of the way later. Due to having the last time slot in my class, I have a pretty hard schedule next semester as it is--with conflicts, admin, and fed tax all on my schedule (one of which I hope to drop in the event of a journal/moot court). The fact that you mention it is such a huge time commitment makes me waiver a bit. Do you think there are benefits to waiting until 3L year to write to take on optional papers given you have completed more writing by that time with notes and the like?


The whole idea of taking a class to write a paper for is that you can actually turn that class paper into your note while counting it for your writing credit. (At least this works at my school, not sure if it's universal). The idea that you'll actually want to take a writing class third year after you've written a note and killed yourself with tough exams 2L is laughable and you will almost certainly regret it, and again, you will have hurt yourself for setting up a decent schedule to publish. By taking a paper class, you ease your final schedule by doing the lionshare of the work during the semester (or at least you should...). If 1L legal writing class didn't help you get enough practice to be confident in your writing, writing a few more optional papers before taking a class based on a paper grade is not likely to help. My 2 cents.




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