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I think the author misunderstood the lesson his professor was teaching him. He was told to abandon the structure he knew in favor of content, but that doesn't mean that structure is inherently valueless or indeed that the 5 paragraph structure is without value.

The structure of writing is not really about ranks or levels. A Pulitzer prize winner can choose to write a 5 paragraph essay without lowering himself to a 'high school level' of writing. You don't level up in college, you learn a variety of structures and skills. This doesn't mean that the skills you developed in high school are lessened. It just means that you have more tools to choose from, and are probably better at deciding between them.

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