College Freshman Struggling To Stretch 5-Paragraph Essay Structure Into 10-Page Midterm Paper

ANN ARBOR, MI–Kierstyn MacDonald is a freshman sociology major at the University of Michigan. She’s confident that her private high school education in New Hampshire prepared her for everything college could throw her way — except getting into Dartmouth College, her dream school. Still, Kierstyn has been eagerly plowing through her first semester’s workload as a Michigan Wolverine and now finds herself inexplicably hitting a wall while trying to write a midterm paper for her ‘America Of The 1960’s’ course.

“The contents of the paper I understand completely. I did my research. I know that the Vietnam War happened, and that JFK got his noggin blowed-up. Something else happened to that other Kennedy, too. What has me stumped is the paper’s length,” Kierstyn revealed through stress-induced hysterics. She then demonstrated her dilemma by scrolling through a Word document, revealing several pages of a run-on intro paragraph to her paper. “I wrote 5-paragraph essays like nobody’s business in high school. People used to come to me for advice about how to make sure a sixth paragraph didn’t sneak in. But, I’m not understanding how this translates as a 10-page paper. Multiple pages for every paragraph? The paragraph-to-page ratio is all outta wack.”

We followed up with Kierstyn several weeks later to discover she had failed the midterm. She is currently taking the rest of the semester off to learn about what goes down after the fifth paragraph.