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Students need Baruch to revise its core English curriculum

Joel C. Bautista | The Ticker

The core-required English courses at Baruch College lack practicality and are inconsistent with students’ academic needs.

All students are required to take ENG 2100, ENG 2150 and ENG 2800 or ENG 2850, which teach them to critically think and form argumentative prose from historical and cultural literature.

While these core-required courses are informative, students aren’t learning APA and Chicago Style writing styles — only MLA.

This leads to issues further along in one’s academic journey when they are expected to have APA or Chicago Style writing knowledge. The expectation of competency of in these styles in the real world also poses a major issue for students.

Students taking psychology classes and public affairs classes, for instance, are required to produce on average 10-page papers that are consistent with APA style writing.

Some classes in other departments, such as communication or marketing, have a more lenient approach to how students write their papers — as long as their essay follows any known writing format like MLA, their grades will not be penalized.

While many academic departments do not provide courses dedicated to teaching students how to write using the appropriate writing styles for the classes within their programs, the Department of Journalism and the Writing Professions uniquely does.

Its JRN 3100 course for editing teaches AP Style writing, among other things, since it’s expected that the students apply that standard to each of their other journalism courses.

Nonetheless, all students should be taught and familiarized with the writing format that their program of study requires in the classroom.

The Writing Center at Baruch offers students resources to learn MLA, APA and Chicago Style writing, but why should students need to go to the Writing Center to learn something that should be already worked into their curriculum?

Baruch professors who teach these English classes can make their classes more practical by teaching students both APA and Chicago style writing, in addition to MLA.

There is definitely room for professors to dedicate time to teaching other forms of highly demanded writing skills, especially since Baruch requires students to take three English courses, while other CUNY schools only require their students to take one or two.

When English professors operate under the assumption that students only need to write in MLA style, and when some of these professors assume that students attained this knowledge in high school, a valuable part of students’ academic career is missed.

Students who are not adequately taught MLA, APA or Chicago Style writing in high school or their freshman year of college are unprepared for their advanced courses, as well as for graduate school.

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