Saturday, June 2, 2012

General Education Requirements Essay

General Education Requirements Essay

The general education requirement is the set of courses which must be completed in order to give students a wide range of knowledge in a specific area. In order for students to specialize in a given field they must first gain basic awareness and understanding of the main principles within the art or science they aim to pursue. General education courses usually prepare students for further study by laying down the foundations of the area of knowledge and exercising skills which will prove necessary for continued learning.

Two such courses are those offered by the university of Kansas and Catawba College. The courses are of a similar nature and offer a basis for English language studies. Catawba College’s English 1103 course is a part of the general education writing program meant to provide a background in critical reading and writing. The course gives students the opportunity to get acquainted with rhetorical thinking and to use it in their analytical reading approach as well as when creating texts.
As part of a general education course in language studies the English 1103 also aims to enhance the understanding of students when reading texts. The course gives students the necessary knowledge to handle academic writing styles and gather and appropriately quote the required information from both electronic and print sources. Other fundamental knowledge covered includes organization and structure of writing, punctuation, style, diction, and use of language. (The General Education Writing Program, Catawba College)

A similar course offered by the University of Kansas is English 102. The classes, like the ones provided by Catawba, are meant to give students the necessary tools for academic writing and understanding of texts. Kansas’s English 102 includes knowledge on quotation mechanisms as well as a deep understanding and knowledge of at least one system of documentation. The course is meant to teach students how to explore various topics with the process of writing and how to use it as a tool for deepened understanding. Students are expected to learn how to collaborate on an academic level and conduct research as well as how to use and understand language in a flexible way. The course includes a research element, meant to encourage students to apply their knowledge as well as gain experience. (Goals for English 102, Kansas University)

Both the English 1103 and the English 102 general education courses have a similar content and offer the skills necessary for students to adequately use language and writing. The structure of both courses provides attendees with knowledge of basic academic writing principles such as quotation and research practices, critical approaches toward texts and written expression skills. In order to prepare students for further studies, or simply give them a good foundation in language knowledge, both courses develop skills for understanding written texts. Both courses use summary or synthesis as a tool for enhanced understanding, and build on that foundation in order to enable students to develop their own argumentation and critical thinking. Once a student is able to properly understand writing, select the appropriate language tools, and conform to quotation requirements, they should be able to create appropriate academic writing.

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