Discussion – Priest Reading Week 9
Remember, we are still on the theme of university culture and a big part of that is writing essays.
So, are essays ‘Expressions of the Interesting’ or, ‘rigid and (even) obsolescent’?
Should you be allowed to express personal opinions on a topic in an essay? Or, is it important to back up your claims and opinions with evidence in the form of quality peer reviewed and scholarly references? If you don’t justify your claims, what would the consequences be? I want you to think not just outside the box here, but why is there a box…?
Are academic essays a way to regurgitate information, or are they a way to think originally and contribute to knowledge in your field? Remember, academic essays are not just written by undergraduates.
What are your thoughts?
I like how Priest is optimistic in this reading, in that students might see essay writing as a joyful activity… To me, it is at times scary and frustrating, other satisfying, but after receiving feedback for my last attempt, I know where to start to improve and hopefully learn from my mistakes.
I think that essay writing is putting your own spin on things, but backing your arguments with references, giving credit where it’s due. I have read some scholarly journals and they cite many other authorities, but I always learn something new.
Who knows? I might one day be cited by a student in the future for research I might conduct as part of my own learning journey!
I think that there are always students who need a little structure and purpose to do well in their studies, so they might welcome the rigidity, and as long as there is learning, essays will be an important aspect of academic life.