TOEFL Essay Topic 8 - Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television has destroyed communication among friends and family. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.
Should attending classes be optional
Some people believe that university students should have the option to attend classes. However, I totally do not agree with this idea. I feel this way for two reasons, which I will explore in the following essay.
First and foremost, attending every class enables students to have a deeper understanding of a subject. It is widely said that studying both in the classroom and by oneself leads to more understanding of a subject than just studying alone. My own experience is a compelling example of this. When I was a sophomore at Kyoto University, a national university in Japan, Professor Nagao required students to attend all classes. In the class, he accorded students a lot of clues about how to solve math problems on the blackboard and inquire them to clarify their ideas to the other students. I every so often remember that time, and I suppose that this activity should lead me to have a more in-depth understanding of math problems. If the professor had not entailed attending every class, I could not have gained knowledge of a lot of math problems. As the example above illustrates, attending every class assists students in obtaining a deeper grasp of a subject.
Secondly, some classes necessitate class participation, for example, a chemistry experiment class; and should such class offer optional attendance for students, its teacher could not evaluate his or her students fairly. By and large, there are two types of classes, one that just requires a final report or a final examination, and the other evaluates the rate of students’ attendance and the qualities of their opinions in the class. My personal history is proof of what I mean. When I was in the second year at Kyoto University Graduate School, Japan, I took an English conversation class for researchers. This class ordered students to be present at all classes and our grades were grounded on the rate of attendance and the quality of our speech in the class. Had students the option to attend classes and were judged only a final report or exam, there would have been no more reason to grasp English conversation. The example above demonstrates that if some classes offer optional attendance for students, the teacher cannot evaluate his or her students properly.
Therefore, I definitely suggest that class participation should be required for university students. This is because attending every class enables students to have a deeper understanding of a subject and because if some classes allow optional attendance for students, the teacher cannot assess his or her students fairly.
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