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Universities Should Require Every Student To Take A Variety Of Courses Outside The Student’s Field Of Study - With A Free Essay Review



Prompt: "Universities should require every student to take a variety of courses outside the student's field of study. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address the most compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge your position."

With the development of our social technology, an increasing number of all-round talented persons are necessary to most companies. Quite a few companies keep complaining that the universities did not provide them with graduates who can immediately get to work and can master almost anything. True, that modern universities fail to give their students enough courses to attend. On the other hand, if universities did require every student to take a variety of courses, it would be a big problem for the students to focus on their major study. In solving the contradiction, more information needs to be investigated by the university.

From the employers' view, universities should require all their students to take enough courses for future use. For a company, an all-round talent can save it time, money, and resources. Thinking of a student who can speak five languages and has a good mastery of computer skills, the student is surely to finish a lot of work with high efficiency, and the company would like to have students like him. Moreover, it takes a short time for the company to train such graduates because if someone can master enough knowledge in just four years' university study, this is definitely persuasive evidence for one's learning ability. Thus, universities should require every student to take a variety of courses outside their major study from the employers' standing.

However, a focus on other courses may distract one's attention to his or her major study. In some Asian countries, university majors were chosen quite by accident. For example, a high school graduate may choose a major that he or she totally does not understand when he or she was only eighteen years old. After such students go to school, they might find that they do not fit the major and even hate studying it. If a student was provided with a variety of courses and happened to meet one that is quite to his or her interest, this may affect his or her major study. It would be better if the university can supply some mechanism like major changing after the students have finished courses that they actually like.

What should universities do if they agreed to ask their students to take courses other than their own field of study? Different universities should take different measures. For some universities which are not able to provide their students with enough courses due to the fact of lacking in faculties, teaching methods and materials, they should pay more attention to the students' major study and make sure their students master their major well. After all, no matter how much knowledge one owns, it is his or her major that counts most for their job finding or future study. For other universities which have plenty of financial support from their graduates or government, they should require their students to take certain courses.

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ESSAY REVIEW

The instructions that go with the prompt say that you must address the most compelling reasons that could be used against your position. That gives you a clue not only about how you ought to structure your argument, but also how you ought to articulate it. It is important to make it absolutely clear that you are responding to the prompt. So in this case, you need to establish a clear position, clarify your reasons for adopting that position, and then defend it against a reasonably hypothetical objection to your position. So does your essay do this?

Well, you don't really establish a clear position in your opening paragraph, where I think you ought to do so. Your basic argument seems to be that you think universities, if they can afford to do so, should require every student to take a variety of courses outside the student's field of study because that is the best way to prepare the student to meet the demands of the job market. If that is in fact your argument, then you ought to articulate it with clarity in the opening paragraph.

In your third paragraph, you deal ostensibly with a possible objection to the argument. You can make the fact (if it is a fact) that that is what you are doing unambiguous by saying something like: "It may be argued against my position that forcing students to take courses outside their field of study would distract the student's attention from her major." Here "distract the student's attention" seems to me a vague way of putting things. Presumably the real problem would be that the student would have less time to devote to her major and therefore would acquire less expertise in her field of study than she otherwise would. You are imagining a situation where a student ends up studying a major she doesn't like and, because she might be required to study other subjects, which she might end up liking, she might be distracted from studying her major. That's certainly possible, but it's hardly the "most compelling reason that could be used to challenge your position." The larger problem with the paragraph is that you don't really explain why the objection gives insufficient reason for changing your position.

Your final paragraph asks and attempts to answer a question that is not really relevant to the prompt or your defence of your position. I would recommend that instead of doing that, you ought to try to elaborate your argument further. For instance, you could have argued, in your previous paragraph, that allowing students the opportunity to be exposed to different fields would be of benefit to the student, giving them a deserved opportunity to question their commitment to the major for which they originally enrolled.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: clark9966
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