Blue books are a common exam tool for essay writing, but some students have raised concerns about how necessary they are.
A blue book is comprised of eight sheets of loose leaf paper bound together by staples with a blue cover. Many students have voiced complaints over them because they contain too many pages that do not get used, while others are bothered by the inconvenience of having to get one for an exam.
Brighton sophomore Stephanie Brandl does not see the need for blue books and wishes they would disappear.
“The essays only use up about two pages in the blue book, then the other sheets just go to waste,” Brandl said. “I don’t understand why we can’t just use regular loose leaf paper, and then I wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of getting a blue book.”
But are blue books that much better than loose leaf paper? History Department Chairman Mitchell Hall thinks so.
“Blue books provide a cover sheet where it specifically asks for information that identifies the students,” Hall said. “It is much easier to lose loose leaf sheets of paper than a blue book.”
The infamous books are most frequently used in the history, English and political science departments at Central Michigan University. Hall said the history department is one of the departments that usually does not supply blue books to students, instead asking students to bring their own to class.
William Spruiell is one of the professors in the English department who chooses not to use blue books in his class. He remembers having blue book problems when he was in college.
“When I was a student, I would always forget to buy the darn blue book,” Spruiell said. “I usually just have my students staple their essays together.”
Second-year Mount Pleasant graduate student Daniel Abbey has used a few blue books in his lifetime, but wouldn’t mind not seeing one again.
“I understand that they help to prevent outside notes from being used, but they do seem to be a nonessential cost for students,” Abbey said. “I was confused about what they were and where to get them at first.”
Blue books can be bought for 30 cents at the CMU Bookstore, which also sells environmentally friendly green books made out of 100 percent recycled paper for 30 cents, and smaller sized blue books for 25 cents.