School Life

All writers in this collection speak for themselves—and themselves alone.


Brainology: Transforming Students’ Motivation to Learn

Carol S. Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford University, classifies mindsets as "growth" or "fixed" and explains how the differences either help or hinder student learning. (Watch Prof. Dweck's TED Talk on this subject.)

Classification & Division • School Life • Mixed PersonDiscussion Questions & Writing Prompts


Cheating in College [Video]

YouTube vlogger sWooZie describes what happened after he spotted two friends cheating on a humanities exam.

Narration • School Life • First PersonDiscussion Questions & Writing PromptsConnect with Author


Fruitful Questions: Sometimes, Things Aren't as Different as They Seem

Freelance author James Sollisch explains the nature of critical thinking by giving examples of people who shifted old paradigms.

Example & Illustration • School Life • First PersonDiscussion Questions & Writing Prompts


How Not to Help Grads with Student Loans

By the time most students finish college, they are tens of thousands of dollars in debt. Robert Shireman, Executive Director of California Competes, helps decipher "helpful" payment-plan web guides.

Process Analysis • School Life • Mixed PersonDiscussion Questions & Writing PromptsConnect with Author


How to Get a Real Education

Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip, explains how he got the most out of his college education and offers advice to students now enrolled.

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Process Analysis • School Life • First PersonDiscussion Questions & Writing PromptsConnect with Author


Is College Worth It?

Students often wonder whether they are getting their money's worth by going to college. The Economist examines the cost and return-on-investment of a college degree.

Argument & Persuasion • School Life • Third PersonDiscussion Questions & Writing Prompts


My High-School Hoax

Novelist Teddy Wayne recounts a plagiarism episode and the lesson that he eventually learned from it.

Narration • School Life • First PersonDiscussion Questions & Writing PromptsConnect with Author


Neither a Wallflower Nor a Paris Geller Be: The Use and Abuse of Class Participation in the College Classroom

Rebecca Schuman, education columnist for Slate, explains how to participate in class successfully.

Process Analysis • School Life • Second PersonDiscussion Questions & Writing PromptsConnect with Author


Such, Such Were the Joys

George Orwell, best known for the novels 1984 and Animal Farm, recounts his experiences at St. Cyprian's, an English preparatory school for boys.

Narration • School Life • First PersonDiscussion Questions & Writing Prompts


Ten Things Every College Professor Hates

Students often do not know what it means to be professional with their professors. In this essay, sociologist Lisa Wade gives examples of improper classroom behaviors and then explains why they are inappropriate.

Example & Illustration • School Life • Mixed PersonDiscussion Questions & Writing PromptsConnect with Author


What You Learn in College

Writer Karen Donley-Hayes shares her regrets during her college experience.

Narration • School Life • Second PersonDiscussion Questions & Writing Prompts


Why Are Police Using Military-Grade Weapons in High Schools?

Reporting for Rolling Stone, Molly Knefel explores a Los Angeles high school's response to increasing police presence.

Argument & Persuasion • School Life • Third PersonDiscussion Questions & Writing PromptsConnect with Author


Will Cristal's College Dream Survive the Summer?

Essayist E. Tammy Kim follows the path of a low-income student from high-school graduation to college acceptance.

Narration • School Life • Third PersonDiscussion Questions & Writing PromptsConnect with Author


You Can Now Go to College in Germany for Free, No Matter Where You’re From

Rebecca Schuman, education columnist for Slate, describes the differences between the German and American college experience.

Comparison & Contrast • School Life • Mixed PersonDiscussion Questions & Writing PromptsConnect with Author