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

"Some people believe that universities should require every student to take a variety of courses outside the student's field of study. Others believe that universities should not force students to take any courses other than those that will help prepare them for jobs in their chosen fields. Write a response in which you discuss which view more closely aligns with your own position and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should address both of the views presented."

Taking a variety of courses seems to be more helpful in a long run, yet requiring students to take courses which could help them in finding a job is certainly more pragmatic. However, if I were the principal, I would certainly choose the former mainly for the following reasons:

First, all disciplines have connections with each other, taking courses in different fields can broaden a student's horizon as well as provide other ways that may lead to deeper understandings of problems in his/her own fields. Most of the greatest people in the history are good in many different fields. Einstein played the violin well, Da Vinci was an artist and a mechanic inventor at the same time, and Aristotle made great contributions in both mathematics and philosophy. Having a wide range of knowledge is necessary for a person to see a problem from more perspectives, and so to have a whole grasping of it.

Second, learning from different disciplines is to store some treasures in our lives which could be of important use one day. Steve Jobs told us his story of "connecting dots in our lives" in his speech at Stanford, in which he said the connection between his calligraphy course he took in university and the calligraphy designed in Apple's personal computers years later. People can always learn a lot in fields different from one's own even without clear consciousness of what they may be used for some day in your life.

Those who are against these ideas may argue that requiring students to take a variety of courses will be a burden to them. For some students, it might be true, but for most students, their interests are likely to be generated when taking courses in different fields. And they may find other fields where are more suitable for them and they may switch their professions to the place where it is easier for them to show their talents. Universities should not only teach students how to prepare for their jobs, though it is important to get job offers after graduation, the most important thing a university can do is to help students to find their own interests and to give them a great background of knowledge by requiring them to take a multiple of courses, so they can handle further study and working in their interested fields.

I hope it has been made clear that occasional training should not be a university's main duty, giving its students a multiple range of knowledge and prepare them for their life with a broader way of thinking are what a university should basically do.


Essay Review

If you are going to write an introduction with a thesis, then make the thesis statement complete: "I would choose the former because X, Y, Z" not "I would choose the former for the following reasons" (where X, Y, and Z are brief articulations of your reasons).

The argument of your second paragraph is too vague. The phrase "broaden a student's horizon" is a more or less meaningless cliche, and obviously the phrase "provide other ways that may lead to deeper understandings" is not much more meaningful. The examples also, in this case, don't help clarify matters. An example of an actual problem that was solved using an interdisciplinary approach might work better.

The example in the second paragraph, by contrast, is better, though I don't think the argument itself is the most compelling argument. You would presumably not want your reader to conclude from that paragraph that everyone should study calligraphy, but what exactly would you want your reader to conclude - that we should study certain subjects in the hope that they might prove useful one day?

The best argument, I suspect, is that which you bury in the middle of the next paragraph. That argument is articulated there largely in the form of an assertion: "Universities should not only teach students etc." The only reason offered in support of your claim about the proper function of a university is found in the last few words of the paragraph ("so they can handle etc."). This is the promising part of the essay, but you should do more work to clarify and elaborate the argument.

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: Juliana

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