TextArea Reading Problem

I have a JSP that gets a user answer from differnt types of input fields. I have no problem getting the answers except from a textarea.

I get the answers like so:
// Get the last answer and store it into a temp string
userAnswer = request.getParameter("answers");

// Send that string to the session object
session.setAttribute("answers", userAnswer);

// Add the answer to the userAnswers List
userAnswers.add((String) session.getAttribute("answers"));

That works for everything, except for a textarea. I forget if I either get a null or just blank value.

And yes, everything is named correctly, because i'll just change the field type and it will work, until i change it back to a textarea, but here's the code anyways.

else if(answerTypes[pageCount].equals("textarea")){

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