Do professors actually read papers?

College students put in a lot of effort, time, and resources to write essays, research papers, thesis dissertations, term papers, coursework, etc.

However, the question most students ask is: do professors actually read papers. Especially when putting in mind that some classes have over a hundred students.

While this is what professors are actually paid to do, you might think that while there are some good professors there are also lazy professors.

Reading and grading papers for an entire class of more than a hundred students is no easy task.

You might be writing a very long paper and actually asking yourself whether indeed your professor or instructor will take time and read the whole paper.

Well, being a professor myself for close to 10 years, I believe I can address this matter logically. Read along!!

Do professors actually read papers?

Professors actually read papers-every single word for every single student. Because this is what they are paid to do. Also, most professors are scholars and naturally, they are used to reading a lot of content and material.

Professionalism dictates that professors keep up with recent studies and research in their field. The only way to do this is by reading a lot.

One way of keeping up with recent information in their respective fields is by sometimes reading their students’ papers who rely on scholarly articles when doing their research papers, essays, dissertations, and thesis.

Also check: Do professors actually check sources? 

That said, lazy professors, have ways to speed up the process and not have to read the entire text during grading.

This might include scanning the paper, probably by reading the abstract, introduction, every first sentence in a paragraph and conclusion. And also random sentences in between paragraphs.

As such, it is important to ensure that you put a lot of effort into your paper because your professor will certainly read it.

If you do not have time, resources, and the patience to write essays, you are better off hiring someone to write your papers to ensure you score high.

Do professors read 10+ page papers

Professors read 10+ pages papers before grading to ensure all assignment instructions were met and the student actually did research before writing the paper.

No matter how long your paper is, be sure that your professor will read every word and every single sentence before grading.

Students and parents pay a lot of money for college and it is a big disservice for them if professors are not professional to read through papers before grading them.

Do not tire to put in effort when writing your papers.

How fast do professors read

Professors are able to read very fast, typically a professor can be able to read a 10-page paper in 10-15 minutes. However, longer papers may take longer to read through and grade.

Being scholars, they are used to reading huge volumes of content and as such, they can quickly go through students’ papers very fast.

Papers that are not written well and according to the assignment instructions will take longer to read through and grade.

This is because the professor has to leave a lot of feedback along the way and this will end up taking more time.

How fast a professor reads will also be based on their subject area.

Language professors will take longer to read when compared to science professors.

Do professors hate grading papers?

Professors do not hate grading papers because this gives them a chance to reward the students who follow all the instructions and take time to write excellent papers. Grading is based on the rubric provided and this makes grading very easy.

When professors send out assignments, they usually include the rubric that they will use when grading the paper. This is very important as it guides professors when grading papers.

The rubric usually covers the following areas:

  • Content
  • Mechanics
  • Formatting
  • Organization
  • And structure

For each section, points will be awarded on how well the student follows the rubric. Some sections will typically carry more points than others.

This makes grading very easy for professors and also students to understand why they failed or passed.

The only part of grading that professors do not like is the complaints after grading.

Some students will complain that they were unfairly graded when in reality they did not follow the rubric.

As such, they will end up scoring a poor grades and complaining to their instructor.

Are teachers biased when grading?

Teachers are not biased when grading. They are professionals and have undergone training to ensure they don’t get biased when grading. They grade papers based on how well students follow instructions and the rubric.

While teachers are human beings and have emotions, they are trained not to grade papers based on emotions or how they feel towards certain students.

Being professional means they have to always put away their emotions to ensure they grade papers fairly based on merit alone.

Make sure you check the comments from your teacher before coming to a conclusion that he/she is biased. Also, check if all the instructions and the rubric were followed to the letter.

What to do when a professor gives you an unfair grade

When you feel your professor has awarded you an unfair grade, you should first check the feedback they left at the end of the paper, you should also look at the rubric and instructions and ensure you followed them. Next, you should try and find a student who got a higher grade than you and compare the two papers.

First, check the feedback from the professor. At the end of the paper, professors will always leave feedback. This is one of the ways to find out: do professors actually read papers.

This will help you understand why you got a good grade or a low grade.

Some instructors will also leave comments throughout the paper, these will also help you understand what you did wrong and what you did right.

Also see: Can I survive college if am bad at writing essays? 

Next, you should check the rubric and also the assignment instructions.

Based on the comments and instructions plus the rubric you will be able to tell whether the grade awarded was unfair or it was what you deserved.

Lastly, you can ask a fellow student or your professor to anomalously share a paper of a student who scored a better grade.

You will then compare the two papers and see if indeed you were awarded an unfair grade.

Lastly, if you do all the above and still find no reason why you got a low grade you should talk to your professor and they will be able to explain why they awarded you a low grade.

If your professor is not convincing you can escalate the issue to a higher authority.

Remember to be courteous and formal when addressing your professor 

How long do professors take to grade papers

Professors typically take 7 -14 days to grade papers. However, this will be based on a number of factors i.e. how long the paper was, how many students the instructor has, and other factors like their health, etc.

It takes professors around 7 days to grade and give feedback to their students. You should expect results to be posted in 7-14 days after submission.

However, shorter papers may take a few days, typically less than 7 days while longer papers will take longer.

A class with many students will also take longer to grade and post the results.

Other factors like the health of the professor or other official engagements might elongate this period.

Why do professors take long to post grades?

Professors take long to post grades since they have to read every paper for every student and provide feedback before grading.

This process takes long particularly if the class has many students.

Apart from reading the papers and providing feedback, they also have to check

the rubric and assignment instructions to see if they were met. Instructors also need to check if the sources used are correct and exist.

They also have to ensure that students who followed the instructions and wrote excellent papers are awarded accordingly and vice versa.


Do professors actually read papers? Yes, professors read every word from every student before grading and providing feedback to their students.

This usually takes between 7-14 days depending on how long the paper was and how many students are in that class.

Professors and teachers are trained to fairly grade papers based on merit and not emotions.

As such, even if you are at loggerheads with your instructor, they should not use grading as a way to punish you.

If you feel your instructor unfairly graded your paper, it is important to first check their comments and then see if you followed the instructions and the rubric.

You can also request to see a paper of a student who earned a better grade for comparison.

Finally, professors do not hate grading as this is part of their job description.