Quantitative Analysis of Student Survey

 

While 52% (14 of 27) of students who responded that they did “Hardly any writing at all,” “Little writing,” or “Some writing” in high school thought that Vanderbilt assignments were “more difficult” or “more intense” than high school assignments, only 14% (8 of 57) of students who responded that they did “A good amount of writing” or “A lot of writing” in high school thought Vanderbilt assignments were “more difficult” or “more intense” than high school assignments.

The lesson to take away from these patterns is that there is a wide range of subjective feeling in terms of “preparation for college writing” among Vanderbilt students. In addition, the amount of writing that students do in high school seems really to be highly variable from school to school. Just because you get into Vanderbilt does not necessarily mean that you are automatically prepared for the writing you will encounter!

As a high school student, you should ask yourself whether or not you have been required to write a lot in high school or not, and what kind of writing that was (were you required to make original arguments and do independent research?). If not, the assignments you will encounter will very likely be longer than you are used to, and you may find them to be more difficult. Be prepared to spend more time on reading and organizing sources, outlining, pre-writing, drafting, and revising. Make sure you start early, ask lots of questions of your instructor, and make frequent use of resources like the Vanderbilt Writing Studio!