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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

“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.”

The claim given is that universities should make it mandatory for students to take courses outside their field of study. I strongly support the claim given, and the American college education system is a testament to the fact that a broad spectrum education system is highly successful.

American universities provide a broad spectrum education system, which is one of the reasons that it’s universities are considered top notch, with the college education system being implemented in countries around the world. Requiring students to study a diverse range of courses apart from the one’s necessary for their field of study deepens their understanding of the world. For example someone who is specialising in math, upon taking courses in literature will develop an insight into how various literary works changed peoples’ thinking in a particular era ; an engineering student on taking biology courses will realize just how similar neural networks are to electrical circuits.

Moreover, as someone who is studying biology to go into research, I realize that in order to progress not only do I need to know biology, but other science courses and psychology. The sciences have increasingly become interlinked, and studying other sciences is fundamental to becoming a cutting edge scientist. Hence universities need to make taking courses outside the students field of study mandatory.

Critics of the claim support their argument by saying that students should not be made to study courses that they are not specialising in, since they will not find them interesting. A counter argument is that universities which implement this policy allow students to choose courses from an eclectic range of courses; students will definitely find some course among the wide range of courses appealing.

To conclude, attending university is not only about studying to learn a skill but also about deepening our understanding about life.


Essay Review

Generally speaking, your arguments here are underdeveloped. Your first explicit argument is that requiring students to take courses outside their field of study "deepens their understanding of the world." But you don't then explain why a university should be interested in the task of generally deepening students' understanding of the world, or why they should be so interested that they force students to take courses outside their fields of study. Could they not instead just suggest to students that taking a variety of courses would be a good idea, for instance? In saying this, I'm not criticizing your position here, but rather suggesting that you should in fact explain that position more fully. You do offer two examples of course, but these serve to illustrate how taking different courses might broaden a student's knowledge; they don't serve to explain why students should be required to do so. Perhaps a student of mathematics would be entitled to know, for instance, the value, to him, of gaining insight into how literary works changed people's thinking.

Your second argument, concerning the necessity of an interdisciplinary approach to the sciences, is also not fully explained (it is supported only by the evidence of your personal experience in the field of biology). The argument also concerns a specific area (the sciences) but is offered as the basis of a general conclusion (i.e., a conclusion about all areas). You can deflect this objection with a little bit of hand-waving (e.g., "What is true of the sciences may well be true of other disciplines. Hence universities need to etc.").

Finally, you deal with a possible objection, as you are required to do, but it is a fairly weak objection, as can be seen by the relative ease with which you counter it. Can you think of a stronger one?

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: 13100021

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