Professors list least favorite paper topics

English professor and Writing Center director Tim Dillon

When professors pull out the syllabus and mention a paper the students will be writing, there are topics they are tired of seeing.
Do not be that person to make your professors roll their eyes.
 Many professors agree they are bored of those controversial subjects that get personal. Some subjects they agree have been exhausted include abortion, gun control, religion/prayer, and obesity.
“I call them high school topics,” said Tim Dillon, an MCCC English professor and director of the Writing Center.
 Professors are looking for something that the student can research, without a personal opinion that gets in the way.
“In a Comp 2 class, we are supposed to do research. Subjects like school and prayer are hard not to have an opinion on,” said Lori Couch, an MCCC English professor.
Professors want to see their students succeed in their writing. They also want students to connect with what they write.
Dillon suggests that it is a good idea for students to become grounded in a subject they have an interest in. It also should be something that isn’t too personal.
“I look for subjects with some controversy so that they can have a position to take, and an opposing position,” Dillon said.
Couch wants to be enlightened by her students’ papers.
“I enjoy papers that I learn something from,” she said.
On the opposite side of the grid there is William McCloskey, another English professor. He said he is not tired of any topic; as long as the student cares about the topic, he does too.
“After 43 years, I have read a lot of topics. To me they might be old/boring, but usually not to the student. 
“It is about the students, ultimately, not me.  Does it really matter if I am bored with a particular topic?” he said.
MCCC Writing Fellow Kellyann Navarre thinks that sometimes students need freedom, but restrictions should also be in place.
“I’ve noticed that sometimes if students have the choice to write about anything, it can be biased, unorganized, or too emotionally involved,” she said.
 “I think they need to be able to enhance their writing and show they can write without always doing whatever they particularly want. But in some instances I think they also need freedom.”