The Top Four Student Essay Problems
1. Unclear, weak, obvious, or missing thesis.
The purpose of every essay, no matter how routine, is to prove an arguable, interesting thesis. A thesis is arguable if a reasonable person could make a case for the other side of the question. The statement, "Shakespeare’s sonnets are primarily a series of meditations on Platonic love," is an arguable (but dull) thesis—a reasonable person could take the other side and say that they’re something else. The statement, "In his sonnets, Shakespeare utilizes diction, tone, and the English language to discuss love," (taken from an actual paper) cannot be disputed—no one would argue that Shakespeare does not use them. Without an arguable thesis, the essay gives its readers no reason to bother continuing.
2. Excessive use of the verb "to be" and passive constructions.
Professional writers rarely get through an essay without using "to be" or passive voice occasionally. However, beginning writers use them both as a crutch. A sentence that begins "The man was bitten…" doesn’t tell us who, how, or why. "Elevated diction is used in Shakespeare’s Hamlet to indicate…" By whom, Shakespeare or one of his characters? For what purpose? Turning this sentence (however it ends) from passive to active will take thought, as well as a commitment to a particular idea of how the play works. The many versions of "to be" used in essays not only bore readers, but also cover up the central question of analysis—what is happening in the work. Even lyric poetry and sculpture do things—they say, appear, stand, loom, sound, rhyme, intimidate, inspire, puzzle—the list goes on. Take a stand and say what happens, not what merely is.
3. Useless, hackneyed, and excessive modifiers.
Nouns and verbs supply the action in a sentence. Use modifiers sparingly, and only when necessary. "Very," "rather," and "quite" serve no useful purpose and water down your statements, so take them all out. All clear skies are blue, all new bikes are shiny, and snow is generally white—don’t bother telling your readers what they already know. Adverbs in particular waste space and attention more often than not; when someone says something "cuttingly," "sharply," "softly," or "lovingly," a reader usually already knows how it was said by the tone of the words used to say it. Make sure every modifier pulls its weight.
4. Wild variations in tone and diction.
Slang and extremely elevated language have their places in the world; on occasion, one ends up in a poolroom or at tea with the Queen. In formal writing, however, your tone establishes trust with your reader, and your diction indicates that this trust is not misplaced—that you know what the right word is, and when to use it. People who "utilize" everything and "use" nothing show contempt for their readers by assuming they will be impressed by inflated vocabulary. Using slang or the latest fashion in jargon demonstrates an equal disregard for readers who don’t consider themselves members of an exclusive group. Keep a clear idea of your audience in mind and say what you mean, precisely and politely.
|About the Author:Zara Saleem is one of the most talented students of Hajvery University, Lahore, Pakistan. She is the student of Final Semester, Pharm. D.|
As we know that education is the backbone in the development of any nation, it is a fact that the countries with an effective system of education lead the world, both socially and economically. The key to development is good education system. Pakistan is one of those very few countries where the system of education has constantly deteriorated. The situation at present is so bad that our system of education is almost near collapse.
Student life is not as easier as it seems. Even it is not easy to wake up for schools early in the morning everyday that is a very big responsibility to reach in time. Here are some common problems of student mentioned below.
Pakistan is an underdeveloped nation, majority of our people are living on the poverty line that can barely make their both ends meet. They cannot afford even the negligible fees being charged in the government institutions, let alone the books and uniforms for which they are to pay from their own pockets. Majority of our young ones are child labor, they indulge in child labor not only to feed them selves but to support their families too.
In Pakistan education is very expensive due to the shortage of public educational institutes. We have only 73 public universities and most of the population study in these universities. Similarly, there is short number of public colleges where students can get free education. Our most of the students belong to the middle class and they have very limited resources. Parents can’t afford easily the expenses of studying their children. Lots of students have to work part time to sponsor their studies themselves. In students life nearly every student usually face financial crisis.
Students usually have to buy books, note books, notes of their course outline and meet transportation expenses. They have to bear some extra expenses for that they can’t ask to their parents as bunk classes and going out with fellows, buying gifts for their girl friends / boyfriends and many other activities.
Students can cope with these crises very easily by a little effort. There are lots of home tuition available for to teach students for 2 or 3 hours and earn money to meet their expenditures. Students can also do a part time job which is related to their studies this would give them a practical experience of their field. This experience would be helpful in future for getting a job.
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Banking system of education
Education that becomes an act of depositing in which the students are the depositories & the teacher is the depositor. Instead of communicating, the teacher issues the communiquers & makes deposits which the students patiently receive, memorize & repeat.
This is the banking concept of education in which the scope of action allowed to student extends only as far as receiving, filling & storing the deposits. Knowledge emerges only through invention & re-invention through restless, impatient containing hopeful inquiry Human being pursue in the world, with the world & with each other.
In the banking concept of education, knowledge is the gift bestowed by those who consider themselves knowledgeable upon those whom they consider to know nothing, projecting an absolute ignorance on to others a characteristic of the ideology of oppression, negates, education as a process of inquiry. The teacher presents himself to his students as their necessary opposite, by considering their ignorance absolute, he justified his own existence. The students, alienated like the slave in the Hegelian dialectic, except their ignorance as justifying the teacher’s existence but unlike the slave, they never discover that they educate the teacher.
The education should be through problem Posing, a method in which a teacher Pose a problem in front of students & teacher & students do brain storming & they do dialogue which leads them towards the conclusion.
Lack of guidance
In our country, students face a lot of problems during their educational career.
They are the most unguided students in the world. Neither the parent due to their ignorance due to which they can’t chose proper subject and proper filed nor the teachers due to lack of professionalism are able to guide them. Lack of guidance is very serious problem which students face.
The purpose of early education is to induce in to the students an interest of education but children are taught by untrained teachers in their early stage, so they lose interest in education. The high expectation of families and absence of guidance affects the ability of the students.
Students should get basic knowledge about any profession before deciding to take it as their future profession. For this purpose they should consult the persons which are already attached with that profession are great source of information. So you can consult a person which is related to the profession which you want to join in future.
Students are evaluated in our institutions not on the basis of their abilities but on the basis of their class. This disheartens students who have weak financial/social backgrounds. Also our examination system evaluates students not on the basis of their cognitive abilities but is more of a rote memory test. All this is simply due to the fact that modern evaluation techniques are not applied.
The Examination system should be based on research work with the effort to explore world not on the ability of cramming.
Traffic is a very common problem of the citizens of Pakistan. You will see traffic jams on the roads at morning and evening timings. People are packed in the buses and vans like sacks, young students climb up the roofs of the buses, vehicle’s horns never allow you to hear the voice of the person beside you. All of us face these traffic problems but here I’ll we discuss how it create problems for students.
Many educational institutes have their own buses to facilitate the students but still there are lots of students who travel through public transports. At morning, people were on their way to offices, school, colleges, etc. So, there is great rush on the roads and that time there is shortage of public transports on the roads. Due to which buses and vans are full. Mostly conductors of buses and vans don’t allow students to ride on buses.
Students who are getting late for their classes have to climb up buses as soon as possible and in this struggle sometimes they got injuries in many incidents. The rain and the VIP movements are also creating a big problem for the students.
Public transporters should provide more vehicles at morning and evening times so that more and more people should be accommodated at rush hour. Government never thinks about the traffic problems of students.
Our students are also subjected to very frequent changes in the medium of instruction. In the process the best they can do is to learn to read one of the languages. Majority is unable to understand what is written in the text. They memorize the text and recopy it in examination, which kills the basic aim of education. Most of the students were studied in Urdu in colleges and universities most subjects and books are in English. They can’t understand it easily.
This language barrier is also caused lack of confidence among students who got education in Urdu. In colleges and universities they meet the students of English medium schools who speaks English fluently they lose their confident in class. Experts believe that students can learn very quickly in their mother tongue but in our Pakistan we are running behind English language.
Most of the developed countries have education system in their mother language like Germany, France etc. By educating in their mother language they do not only promote their language but also their students understand well. As English is an international language so it should be an optional subject not a compulsory one. Because our most students can not understand it well, they just memorize it without knowing the meaning of the text. So, the education must be in our mother language so that students can easily understand it & not only to memorize it & recopy in examination but gain some knowledge & concept.
Imposed study programs
One of the big problems faced by students is, usually they are not free to choose study program of their own choice. Parents imposed a field of study which is not suitable for the child or he couldn’t feel good to study in that field. This is very common problem of our society. Student wants to be journalist or photographer but parents select engineering for him. So when he gets admission in engineering college he could not perform better. He feels that he is not fit for this field.
Here parents should think about it and please don’t impose any study sequence to their children. You should make aware students about the scopes and problems of every field where they have interest and let them choose a study program. Aamir Khan, famous Indian actor produced a film “3 Idiots” on this topic that students can perform better in that field which they select themselves.
Difference in Theory & practical world
In our colleges and universities students got bookish and theoretical knowledge but to get job they need practical knowledge and skills. In fact, students required theoretical knowledge for their professional growth and development but in job market they need something more. Now there is too much competition in the market and owners only hire that person which has some kind of experience regarding the required job.
This problem can be solved very easily by students themselves. Students can join a company or organization during their studies for the experience. This will gives you much experience and also professional knowledge which would boost your personality.
Load shedding affecting students in Pakistan
The hours-long unscheduled load-shedding in Pakistan increased the miseries of students.
The power supply company has resorted to over 8 to 12 hours of outages, which is adding to the miseries of the residents already haunted by the rising inflation and worsening law and order situation.
Because of electricity shortage, the valuable time of students is going to be wasted. Students are facing severe study problems. Their daily routine timetable is disturbed which will affect their future also. Not only, had the matriculation students affected from the electricity shortage butalso the university level students are also affected by the electricity load shedding.
The Problem of load shedding is further intensifying by the gas load shedding in the Pakistan. Students will face the life threatening hot in the examination halls during the summer examination.
So, it must be making possible to facilitate students during the examination and preparation days by overcoming the electricity shortage.
This is very common problem and nearly all the students talked about it. In our society teaching is not considered a good profession and people, who are in this profession not sincere with it. In colleges and universities mostly teachers doesn’t come in time and mostly classes are off due to the unavailability of teachers.
The only solution of this problem is that the teacher’s must be sincere to their profession and should pay his best to the students.
Lack of Trained teachers:
There are no trained teachers in our education system. The purpose of early/primary education is to induce in to the students an interest of education but children are exposed to untrained teachers in their early stage of education they lose interest in education and results in early drop outs.
I must say that first we should try to make our educational system better so that the education which a student gets gives some fruitful results. Government should make good policies for it and implement them in the institutions.
There should be training institutions, workshops or programmes for the teachers to update their knowledge according to the needs of the present era.
A careful analysis of the teacher-student relationship at any level, inside or outside the school, reveals it fundamentally narrative character. This relationship involves a narrative subject (the teacher) & listening objects (the students).
Education is suffering from narration sickness. The teacher talks about reality as if it were motionless, static, compartmentalized & predictable who else he expounds on a topic completely alien to the existential experience of the students.
His task is to fill the students with the contents of his narration. Content which are detach from reality disconnected from the totality that engendered them & could give the significance & words are emptied of their concreteness & become a hollow, alienated verbosity.
There exists a lot of communication gap between students and teachers. Due to this gap neither the teachers nor the parents come to understand the students, resultantly they enforce upon them their wishes. This enforcement develops a rebellious or a docile nature in the students, which retard the positive abilities.
The environment of the class must be such that a student asks anything to the teacher without the fear of insult or criticism.
Students usually have to study in unhealthy and un-friendly environment. As sometime the fellows and teachers are very un-friendly and behave rudely. Students can’t study at home due to certain reasons as load shedding or have to do some domestic households etc. Some students who are from other cities face lots of problems of food and residence.
It’s the resposibility of the teacher to create a healthy & friendly environment so that students can ask any question from the teacher. A healty & friendly environment not only develop interest in the studies but also give confidence to the students.
In Pakistan, female students face many problems as usually their family doesn’t allow them to study in co-education. Most of the girls don’t feel comfortable with co-education. It is one of the big problems faced by female students.
It’s the responsibility of the Government to establish separate institutes for female students so that they can continue their education in a comfortable environment in spite of wasting their capabilities at home. In this way females can play a major role in the development of the country.
Lack of Proper laboratory facilities
Our institutes are devoid of proper laboratories. Due to this, students are bombarded with theoretical concepts, which in the absence of the required laboratories confuse the students. As a result of this the students lose their interest in education after which either they drop out or rely on practices like cheating, bribing teachers etc.
There should be properly maintained laboratories in the institutions so that students carry out their practical work it will also help in better understanding of the theory.
Lack of learning aids
Our institutes lack leaning aids like audio or visual aids. The only way to learn is the teacher’s lecture which is so boring & dry that it is much difficult for the student to listen the teacher as a result student loose their interest in studies.
There should be audio or visuals aids, use of different models which will increase the interest of students in their studies & leads to better understanding of things. Students will memorize it for a long time and they will enjoy their studies.
To camouflage their inability teachers grow a fence of fear around themselves. They resort to indiscriminate punishments resultantly some of the students run away from schools and the rest become docile with no interest in education but to spend time aimlessly.
Students due to high expectations of their families and absence of guidance for both the parents and students experience a lot of psychological stress, which has a retarding effect on their studies.
Frequent change of teachers
Frequent change of teachers leaves no room for the development of mutual understanding and respect for each other. The moment they start to understand each other, the teacher is changed. Once this process is repeated a few times with a student, the student closes himself to teachers in future.
Students competes each other crazily in fashion which creates inferiority complex in students that belongs to poor families which ultimately leads to their poor performance in the studies as well as decrease in their confidence level. This inferiority complex has very bad impact on the personality of the poor students.
There must be a uniform for all institutes including colleges and universities, so that the students that belong to poor families can also continue their education with out the inferiority complex.
Absence of appropriate textbooks
Students are subjected to inappropriate textbooks, which in the absence of appropriate reference books makes the situation worst. Libraries are filled with irrelevant books, which too are kept under lock & key out of the reach of students.
Libraries must be equipped with such books which are relevant to needs of students. So that students get benefit from them.
Students are physically stressed due to the fact that they start early in the morning and walk long distances to school, on reaching schools they are subjected to physical punishments and when they return they are given substantial amount of homework for which they have no guidance. In addition they have to go for coaching classes. They also have to read Quran Pak ultimately they do not have time for playing.
The timing of the school should not be too early. There should not be home work so that students get time for other recreational activities this will ultimately leads to healthy mind & healthy body.
Due to mental stress and too much work students have no time to develop social relations and the feeling of loneliness overtakes them. This leads to depression and mental sickness, which is taken by society as being under the influence of spirits. To cure this they are taken to different shrines which majority of times results into partial mental disability.
Lack of facilities for Co-circular activities
There exist no facilities for co-curricular activities of the students. Very few institutes have playing grounds, which is due to wrong planning of the management. Sometimes the institutes are very overcrowded providing no space for any kind of sports. Also there are no provisions for sport goods due to which students run aimlessly which inculcates in them an aimless attitude/behavior.
Lack of Parking area
There exists no parking area in majority of private institutes due to which students have to park their vehicles at road which leads to traffic jams and creates a lot of tension for students.
While planning a building of an institute there must be a proper space for parking of vehicles of students so that students do not face any kind of problem.
Due to non-serious attitude of the teachers and management students at a very early age get exposed to menaces like smoking and use of snuff, which according to psychologists are a gateway to more serious additions such as hash and heroin. It has also been observed that it is in fact the teachers and parents of the students who use these things openly in front of students and hence work as a role models for students on their way to getting into the habit of smoking and use of snuff.
Friends / Roommates
Friends and roommates are usually good for a good time. However, they can get on each others nerves at times. Because these students are living together in close quarters and seeing each other each day, this is just not a good thing.
Students must remember to take some time out for themselves. If possible, students should get away from campus for a little while and go to a coffee shop or a mall and just take some time to gather their thoughts and be themselves. If conflicts do arise, it is best to get others such as other friends involved so that the spirit of community, unity, and peace at the college can continue to be upheld.
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