Essay: The Communication Collapse

A neighbor's daughter showed me a question from a state bar examination she took recently. It called for a 500-word essay having to do with an aspect of interstate commerce.

My concern here is not with the question; I assume it pertained to a conventional legal issue. My concern rather is with the time allotted for the essay: 30 minutes. This absurd limitation for a serious piece of writing is not unusual. Essay-type questions in high school and college examinations routinely allow half an hour or less for expository answers. In the very act of testing writing skills, the schools foster...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!