By the way, I am not speaking for those in STEM. Obviously, in that world of education, structure exists for a reason because that is literally how the world works. I am speaking more for Arts and Social Science students. Although I do believe that STEM students may relate to this via their electives or whatever writing courses they may have in their program.
The problem with this is that this format of education does not grow the student. All it does is give a student a remedial task to perform. If the student performs the task as it suits to standards of Western higher education, that student will be marked for their work. This grading format does not merit a student’s ideas, rather it merits how well a student is able to regurgitate someone else’s thoughts and the way in which they format those “references”. I definitely agree, that providing facts as references is key in constructing an argument within your paper but it does not represent any creativeness (or intelligence). Those who grade papers are just looking for the closest thing they can find to what they may read in a university journal. And since creative thoughts are more unique, references will be more sparse, leading to a paper lacking academic credibility. I understand that in 2018, there are a lot of dumb people in university, therefore a lot of “original” thoughts may seem foolish but I just do not believe that many of these students understand what they should be merited for in their writing.
Students should be able to put their creative writing into work in their essays to demonstrate their understanding of course concepts, while realizing that the essay topic is just the vibe of the essay, their thoughts about the topic are the meat and potatoes, and that their argument structure, facts, and references are the structure and backbone of the paper. I have written so many brain dead papers where the bulk of the essay was essentially paraphrasing and citing other academics. I am not talking about essays based around numbers and facts, I am talking about essays that revolve around qualitative information or opinions. In reality, what is the difference between that and plagiarism? The difference is that in one you are literally plagiarizing and in the other, you are plagiarizing but you are letting readers know that you are taking information from someone else.
I am not saying that those I have been citing in these papers are not credible, I am not saying that they should not be considered legitimate sources, what I am saying is that there has to be more to higher education than just rinse and repeating the same ideas over and over again. There has to be more than just one linear direction in which we as a society learn about new concepts and methodologies. And at the end of this article, I cannot believe I, a university graduate am returning to university in the Fall.
This is an opinion piece, let me know what you think. What is wrong with higher education, is there anything wrong about it, am I being a little bitch, let me know.