Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The literary art of writing final examinations

On Monday I gave a final exam in my Crusade and Jihad course.   It required the students to write two short essays, which I had told the students in advance.

Chatting  with the students before the exam began, I was apprised of a curious fact:  a prof in another department, a prof also fond of requiring essay questions on finals, expected those essays to have titles and complained bitterly when they were not provided.  I was flabbergasted.  I had never had a student title a final exam essay.   Though I did of course get several from the students in this week's exam.

Question:  If you are a prof, do you expect or get titles on exam essays?  If you have written essays on exams, have you felt inspired to put titles on them?

Do math answers ever get titles, I wonder...

Image:  Sweating over the perfect title while studying for the big exam...


  1. Titles are matters adiaphora. I'd actually consider a title on an essay exam rather weird, thankyouverymuch. For me, it's asserting an argument that I crave: give me a thesis, a viewpoint, near the start of the essay and support it throughout the paper with historical evidence and/or historical thinking. Not too much to ask, eh?

  2. Anonymous4:12 pm

    I've never heard of this or seen someone do it, for what that's worth given my junior station.