Are university essays relevant any more?
Does gruelling over a dozen books and journal articles before blindly forming an essay just to please your tutor help you learn anything?
Personally, I 'get it over with' and wait for my mark.
I enjoy writing essays, don't get me wrong. I love finding out about 'The Future Of Journalism' and 'Hyper-commercialisation'.
But I believe they are not an accurate portrayal of understanding or of academic ability.
When my course found out that the lecturer who had taught us a module was not the one marking our essay for that module, everyone panicked.
'I wrote this for Kate! Not Jairo!' They cried, believing all hope that their essay was good had vanished.
You see, essay-marking is partially about perspective. One lecture hates it when people use first person, one loves it and encourages it.
We write essays for the lecturer. For the deadline. For the grade. Not for ourselves.
When we should! Otherwise it's a jumbled mess of half-understood words and theories.
We are encouraged to not focus on the essay and deadlines, but on the course content. Which supposedly, and does, in some cases, pay off into the essay. You have to know the module content to write about it.
But our grade determines the world's perspective and judgement of our ability. So we need to get that 2.1 or we look like academic failures.
There are a lot of pressures on us at university and I think essays and exams are two massive pressures which stunt our growth as students.
My alternative? Assessments weekly. But unorthodox assessments. Quizzes on the last lectures content, meaning you had to go an learn it to pass. What extra reading have you done this week? Oh, a journal article? What did you learn from that? Oh, that journalism can be saved. Well here's 5 more marks towards your degree for being proactive.
Treat me like a child. Give me motivation, rewards for studying.