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Argument 3

Learn to Argue / Persuade

Task 1

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Title: Sample Argument


This is a student response to the question listed in the blue box on the right.  It takes a clear stance but also debates the other side prior to the conclusion.
Good for showing both sides of the issue, exploring critical thinking and for having students go back and add argumentative features

Argument 3 - Question and Sample

Sample Argument:


Philosophy and drama should not be required at the college or university.  While these courses are important for certain disciplines they are not essential to the skills required to make progress in life.  College and universities should be focused on strengthening the practical knowledge of their students so they can graduate and achieve success in the working world; philosophy and drama will not increase this proficiency.  Of course, drama and philosophy should be offered as electives, but these courses should certainly not be required as they present no practical value for the majority of students.  Required university courses should always be focused around pragmatism, relevancy and relationship to economic need.


Of the core, or required courses, universities should focus on pragmatism.  While it is interesting to study a variety of topics, it is more valuable for the small select group of required classes to enhance skills that will make students competitive in the working world.  In today's society it can be very difficult to find employment, especially when one is fresh out of college and lacking in experience.  Practical courses such as statistical analysis and rhetorical writing are what employers want to see on a resume.  It is the practicality of these core courses that may trump inexperience and help get recent graduates into the job market which enhances the reputation of the university.  Having philosophy and drama will not enhance a resume and it will not convince employers that students have used their time wisely.


Required college courses should also be relevant for the knowledge economy the graduates will have to contend with.  All courses should be relevant; students should be able to see how each course will foster skills and create more effective employees.  It is more important to increase proficiency is math, reading and writing than anything else offered at the collegiate level as these skills are used daily in most work.  They are essential and if a university does not require relevant college courses, what message is it sending to its students?  After all it is a university's responsibility to prepare its students for the working world.  Requiring drama and philosophy will be a waste of time for students who plan to go into nearly any form of business; it is time that could be spent enhancing their knowledge so that they can take on problems and issues as employees of major companies.


Universities should also be aware of the needs to the economy and tailor its core courses to match these needs.  In America, we have a successful knowledge-based economy and universities for the most part are aware of this.  As a consequence of this awareness, the required courses focus on skills that are essential to success in a knowledge economy.  A university cannot alter the economic landscape.  Instead a university must be a "responsive entity" focused on economic trends and ensuring the core classes directly match these trends.  This is how a university will predict the percentage of graduates that will find employment.  If employment is not gained then students cannot begin to pay back their students loans, thus placing the university at a severe disadvantage.


Of course philosophy and drama are important.  Philosophy fosters higher level thinking skills and forces students to consider multiple perspectives.  Drama enhances the skills necessary for confident public speaking.  However, to require both subjects as part of required classes will certainly be a waste of time for a lot of students across the United States; it will only detract.  Philosophy and drama are elective subjects not tied to either practicality or relevance.  Both subjects have no relationship to a knowledge economy as both subjects have such a narrow line of employment after graduation.


In conclusion, in the broad university curriculum philosophy and drama should continue to be offered.  However, required classes should remain focused on the essential.  Practical, relevant and based on economic need should be the three deciding factors universities use in determining what should be relevant and what should be an elective.


Philosophy and drama, as they have no clear of practical applications, should be elective courses and not requisite at any college or university.


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