Originally Posted by mini
Although I don't write essays, I don't fault writers who do. I don't fault students for using these services in some cases. For instance, someone who is trying to get an engineering degree doesn't really need to waste time and energy writing a history essay. If you are in a computer related field, it can also be a waste. Anyone who went to college knows how we blew off subjects unrelated to our fields. I know many successful people in IT and engineering who did just that.
If a writer has to choose between feeding her kids and writing an essay, is there really a choice to be made?
Mini, granted, I'm prejudice because I'm a college writing teacher, but I do have to take a bit of issue with this comment
You mention that someone who is getting a degree in engineering or IT is wasting their time writing history papers and the like. I beg to differ. While the topic itself might not be in their field, the actual writing that they do is doing them a lot - strengthening written communication skills, teaching them that using text-message and slang is not appropriate for professional communication, getting them to express their ideas with precision and clarity, since their words have to speak for themselves. It's a matter of making students understand that writing academic papers on topics like history or literature is not about the topic itself or even the essay format - it's about getting the tools to effectively communicate in writing and transferring those skills to the workplace and sharpening their critical thinking and reading skills, which they'll need later on.
My dad is a chemical engineer who worked in his field for 40 years. When he retired, he spent a year and a half at a Texas state university as an adjunct professor, teaching courses to juniors and seniors about quality assurance in his field. He would lament to me how these juniors and seniors (who were about to go out in the job market), didn't know how to write effectively and how he was having to get it through their heads that they DO need to know this in their field, to write reports and the like.
So we can't assume that non-humanities type fields don't need writing skills
I'm not trying to attack you - just trying to make a point.