Maybe a student cannot produce footnoted research papers yet since Pages (iTunes link) does not yet support footnotes, but they certainly can generate the raw text of a paper wherever creativity strikes them. They can take notes in class, write sections while in the library or beside the pool.
In Japan, millions of novels have been written on cell phones. My great-grandfather wrote his Ph.D. dissertation with a #2 pencil. Chaucer, Shakespeare and Jefferson wrote their brilliant works with bird feathers. Yet the iPad's critics say creation is impossible using a device that would have been a Pentagon supercomputer 20 years ago. The computers that today's writers say are absolutely necessary for writing didn't even exist 10, 20 or 30 years ago. Is that when they think literacy started?
Tip: My brother e-mailed a tip I'd missed. Do you miss the apostrophe on the iPad's main keyboard? Hold down the comma key and you get an apostrophe.