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Should Universities Require Every Student To Take A Variety Of Courses? - With A Free Essay Review



Universities Should Require Every Student To Take A Variety Of Courses Outside The Student's Field Of Study

To focus on their major or take a variety of courses outside their field of study, it is a question confusing almost all of the college students as well as the universities, who offer both courses on student's main researching field and ones with little relation to student's own field. In accordance with my personal experience, I think universities should require students to take courses unrelated to their study field.

From my prospective, courses outside the student's field could be divided into three major types: art courses, professional courses of other areas and courses tutoring university life.

The main role of art and music courses is to add color to student's monotonous professional learning. By taking a variety of courses, they could cultivate their interest and discover areas attracting them. For example, after several music classes, you may find playing flute quite charming and begin learning the musical instrument during your leisure time. Either spending time taking such courses or developing hobbies after class is a good way relaxing yourself and uncover friends sharing the same interest with you, much better than playing video game in the dormitory.

You may make objection to my point as there also exist some courses as physics and chemistry that are quite hard to learn but have no relation with our major. Should universities also ask students to learn these courses? You would have my positive answer. Nowadays, no subject works alone. Words like plutonomy and biochemistry are telling us the closer relationship between different fields. If it were not for the knowledge of anatomy, how could Da Vinci make the striking achievement? To be a profession, not only should students construct a good foundation in their own field, but also facility themselves with knowledge in other areas.

Last but not least, the main purpose of university education is to cultivate student satisfying the need of the society. For that matter, university should give priority to courses guiding students as junior achievement and career schedule or those expanding their horizon as American society. These courses, though not directly teach students how to make experiments, are of great use in the development of student's quality in that they help student to prepare themselves for the future.

As we can see, almost all kind of courses mentioned above could be a wonderful helper to students. Thus, we can arrive to the conclusion that universities should require student to take a variety of courses outside the student's field of study. However, there is still one thing I have to point out. When stressing the importance of taking courses in other fields, universities should never neglect major courses and should make guide when students are choosing courses.

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ESSAY REVIEW

Let’s begin with the first sentence, which I think you should delete because it is irrelevant, unless you are going to make the topic of students' potential confusion relevant in your essay (but you don't do that). Your second sentence, then, is your thesis. You should use it to define in brief the reasons you have for thinking that universities should require every student to take a variety of courses outside the student's field of study; i.e., instead of saying "I think universities should require students to take courses unrelated to their study field," say "I think universities should require students to take courses unrelated to their study because A, B, C," where A, B, and C are reasons for thinking that.

Now what are A, B, and C in your essay? That question is more difficult to answer than it ought to be for your reader because, in the first place, your essay does not aim primarily to defend the proposition of the prompt. Instead it aims to justify having students study the arts, professional courses of "other areas" and something called "courses tutoring university life." That's the wrong approach to answering this kind of essay. Focus on finding reasons for thinking that the main proposition might be true or not true. For example, instead of justify taking music courses on the basis that doing so might help a student relax, argue something like this: "It is a good idea for students to take courses outside their area of study because doing so might help reduce the stress associated with intensive study of one subject." That's the right type of claim to make, even if it is not a particularly persuasive claim. In any case, let's call that "reason A."

Reason B is articulated in defense of the proposition that students should even have to study hard courses such as Physics, when such courses are outside their area of study. Again, that is the wrong approach. The implicit argument in that paragraph is that taking such courses might be useful given the interdisciplinary nature of many professions. Make that implicit argument explicit. Reason B: "It is a good idea for students to take courses outside their area of study because today many professions demand knowledge of more than one area."

Now the second problem that makes the reader's task difficult here is the number of errors of grammar and syntax. There is not much you can do about that as a general problem beyond continuing to work on your English grammar and reading good English prose every day. In a test situation, however, keep your syntax and your vocabulary fairly simple. Reason C in your essay (in the paragraph beginning "Last but not least") is not intelligible. When you try to write in a too-sophisticated way, you risk not only losing points for errors, but also not getting credit for an unreadable argument. I don't think you should be taking that risk.

So if we ignore Reason C, then your thesis becomes:

"I think universities should require students to take courses unrelated to their study because doing so might help reduce the stress associated with intensive study of one subject and because today many professions demand knowledge of more than one area."

That's a reasonable thesis, and it is very clear exactly what you want to argue. If you start out with such a thesis, it will also help you see how your essay ought to be organized, for it will help you see what each paragraph should be doing (proving that the reasons are good reasons).

Finally, the argument of the essay as a whole would be stronger if you asked yourself why some people might object to the proposition. You do that to some extent when you consider that some might think physics might be too hard for some students, but that is hardly the strongest form of a possible objection, and the strongest form is what you should be looking for. If you were writing an essay in defense of the proposition that students should not be required to take courses outside their area of study, what reasons could you come up with? That’s the question you should ask yourself.

Perhaps a general form of the possible objection you considered might be this: "It is unfair to students to require that they take courses outside their area of study because many students find such courses difficult." You might then explain why that's a problem: "When students find a course too difficult, they might end up becoming dispirited, or they might end up devoting too much time to a course in which they have no interest." You might also argue that the amount of knowledge that needs to be mastered in order to become an expert in any one area of study is increasing all the time; you might argue that it is so large that it is increasingly difficult to acquire expertise without devoting all of one's time to that area of study. You might even argue that the other stuff can be studied in secondary school. And so on. I'm developing the possible counterargument in a little bit of detail because that is what you would need to do to write a strong essay in favor of the proposition. That is to say, you need to think about what the counterargument would be in the same kind of detail that you think about what your main argument is. And then you need to refute the counterargument, or explain why your reasons for supporting the proposition are more compelling.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: queenaquin
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