A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Senior Project Involves Stress and Logic


 Sitting at a desk, surrounded with other students with a computer in front of them. All dreading the one thing worse that anything else: the senior research project.

October 21st was the first day that teachers began to give their students the work for the senior research project. Teachers started by handing out a calendar that showed all of the due dates for each step. Seniors had about 3-5 days between each of due dates to climb the ladder to completion. A number of seniors believed teachers didn’t give them enough time to do each step of the essay. Teachers could argue that weren’t able to give students more time because they were on a time crunch and needed it finished before the end of the semester.

From the start of the senior research project to the end, seniors had about two months. Two months may seem like a long time but with weekly due dates, but many students believed the time went by really fast.

When English teachers informed their students about the project, students were told that at the end of it all, it would be worth about 1000 points. Some seniors were very shocked about this number. Before they were able to make a fuss about how many points it was worth, teachers had explained how the points were divided. 500 points for the essay and 500 for their presentation.


Some may think that if they don’t pass this assignment, they won’t be able to get into the college they want. “It (the project) doesn’t define if [you] go to college, but it’s [can be very] helpful,” said Senior Jocelin Ramirez.

Seniors have been stressing out about whether they would do score well on the project.

Senior Zachary Montaniaro said that when teachers kept repeating when something was due it so much pressure on him. He said that teachers may think that they are helping students when they continually remind them about a due date, but it really just creates more tension for the student.


Another reason why seniors are stressed is because some teachers have said this is is a requirement to graduate. “[the senior project] is the only way to graduate,” Senior Angelina Rodriguez said. Teachers have said that if a senior fails the project, they won’t be able to make up the credit they have lost.


As the stress of the essay increases for students, they also must a begin to really start planning their presentation. Having to present in front of a class can be very terrifying several students. Senior Yvianne Morales said that the only thing she was stressed about the project was having to speak in front of the classroom.

Seniors may think that their teachers are putting all the stress on them, but it’s really the student doing it to themselves. Mr. Barrett said that he believes the students are having more stress than they should. He said the due dates should relieve some of the stress for students. Knowing when something is due, should help students work on the project.

Some students don’t know why they have to do this project; they believe that it is completely pointless. Barrett said this senior research project helps them prepare for college. It teaches students how an essay should be written, and what to expect in college.

As for the presentation part of it, Barrett said, “Presentations gives students experience of being in front of a group… which is a life lesson for people.”  It teaches them how to get comfortable to be able to talk to a group because that’s how life is.