Author Topic: Paper, and papers, and professors... oh my!  (Read 5019 times)

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Milash

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Re: Paper, and papers, and professors... oh my!
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2013, 05:59:28 AM »
At my Uiniversity we had word counts, font type, size , margin and 1.5 spaced requirements. Is this the same elsewhere?

cwm

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Re: Paper, and papers, and professors... oh my!
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2013, 01:29:17 PM »
At my Uiniversity we had word counts, font type, size , margin and 1.5 spaced requirements. Is this the same elsewhere?

As I said before, most of my professors didn't do a word count. (Seriously, is the professor expected to sit and count the words in each of the essays?) But the font type, size, and margins were all standard. The profs would pull out a ruler to measure margins and font size, and if it was an extra wide font, they'd tell the student to reformat it in an accepted font and dock points. With the font, margins, and type size set, word count can be generally safely estimated by how many pages there are. At least that's how my adviser (French Horn professor, also taught several classes I had to take) explained it to his freshman course. He said every year people would try to sneak a new font by him and every year he would dock points because he knew they didn't have the wordcount right. And the few times he did go in to double check word count, he was pretty accurate based on his averages.

wolfie

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Re: Paper, and papers, and professors... oh my!
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2013, 01:49:39 PM »
How common is it to go to graduate school straight after finishing your undergraduate degree?

I'm a primary school teacher. I did a 4-year degree, made up of 36 subjects which gave me a bachelor of education. It's extremely uncommon in that field, anyway, and many other degree courses, to do a master's level degree immediately. Some do a master's degree 10-20 years later.

I also get the impression that you go off to college in the US and do all sorts of subjects in different areas. That's pretty uncommon here too. You would usually do a degree in nursing, or law, or pychology, or acounting, and follow a fairly prescribed set of subjects.

I only picked 4 elective subjects in four years, and they had to all be from a specific area. So out of my 36 subjects, I could have done 4 electives all in the area of early childhood education, or literature, or history etc. The rest all just appeared on my timetable. And because my uni was pretty small, there was no planning my own timetable. It came prescribed as well.

My sister went to school in Ireland and I was surprised at the lack of choices she had. In most US schools (cause I am sure there is an exception somewhere) there are a lot of electives in addition to the core classes. For example I had to take my core computer science classes, 2 arts classes, 2 history classes, 2 science classes and something else that I can't remember. I had a lot of leeway as to what those electives were. I don't think my sister got any electives and she didn't really schedule her own classes - she was told which classes she would take what semester. For me I got to pick when I took the classes - the only gotchas were I had to take some classes in a certain order so it made sense to take them one semester after the other.

CakeEater

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Re: Paper, and papers, and professors... oh my!
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2013, 06:31:36 PM »
How common is it to go to graduate school straight after finishing your undergraduate degree?

I'm a primary school teacher. I did a 4-year degree, made up of 36 subjects which gave me a bachelor of education. It's extremely uncommon in that field, anyway, and many other degree courses, to do a master's level degree immediately. Some do a master's degree 10-20 years later.

I also get the impression that you go off to college in the US and do all sorts of subjects in different areas. That's pretty uncommon here too. You would usually do a degree in nursing, or law, or pychology, or acounting, and follow a fairly prescribed set of subjects.

I only picked 4 elective subjects in four years, and they had to all be from a specific area. So out of my 36 subjects, I could have done 4 electives all in the area of early childhood education, or literature, or history etc. The rest all just appeared on my timetable. And because my uni was pretty small, there was no planning my own timetable. It came prescribed as well.

My sister went to school in Ireland and I was surprised at the lack of choices she had. In most US schools (cause I am sure there is an exception somewhere) there are a lot of electives in addition to the core classes. For example I had to take my core computer science classes, 2 arts classes, 2 history classes, 2 science classes and something else that I can't remember. I had a lot of leeway as to what those electives were. I don't think my sister got any electives and she didn't really schedule her own classes - she was told which classes she would take what semester. For me I got to pick when I took the classes - the only gotchas were I had to take some classes in a certain order so it made sense to take them one semester after the other.

So you ended up with a degree in computer science? But had to take history classes as part of that. That's pretty unusual here. Universities here have much more of a focus on training people for a particular profession rather than just on providing a broad education.

camlan

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Re: Paper, and papers, and professors... oh my!
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2013, 06:53:53 PM »
Not sure about other countries, but in the US, there is no country-wide standard for education. Every state and every school district can make up their own guidelines. So the students arriving at any college or university can have very little common education.

For example, during junior year of high school, in my English class, we had weekly in-class writings, weekly quizzes on the works we were reading, short papers due every other week, vocabulary quizzes every other week, and a long 10-15 page paper, typed, due every nine weeks, one of which was a research paper where we had to credit our sources, have a bibliograry, use footnotes, etc. In the school I transferred to for senior year, I did one piece of writing outside of class and that was a simple two page hand-written character study. No vocabulary, very few in-class writings, no research paper. Class time was sometimes given over to reading the material that should have been read for homework. And this was Honors English, supposedly the top level English class the school offered.

Every high school has different requirements--you can graduate with only two years of history or science or math in many of them. So professors have kids who have had US History four years ago in their classes, sitting next to someone who just spent the last year in high school in an AP* history class.

I think the core requirements are a way of making sure that all students graduating from the college have met certain requirements. Since most universities encourage students to take the requirements early in their academic careers, they also ensure that all students have a basic knowledge of these subjects. Most schools have classes that are clearly "English Lit for the non-English major," and "Math for the math-phobic." Sometimes they are even named, "Biology for Humanities Students," or something like that. Classes that expose the students to a range of topics on the subject, but which aren't too in-depth.

When I was teaching Freshman English, I could be pretty certain that most of the students had read at least one play by Shakespeare, but not the same one. They had probably all read one novel by Charles Dickens, and something by Mark Twain. Beyond that, I couldn't make a single assumption about a shared literary experience, other than the texts we were reading in class. While it isn't the only reason for their existence, the core requirements do manage to get most of the students exposed to basic works of literature, basic math skills, a bit of basic history, etc. It helps to level the playing field, so that professors can refer to things not specifically mentioned in their syllabi.

*AP=Advanced Placement class--students passing the class can take an exam to get college credit for the work done.
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wolfie

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Re: Paper, and papers, and professors... oh my!
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2013, 09:56:29 PM »
How common is it to go to graduate school straight after finishing your undergraduate degree?

I'm a primary school teacher. I did a 4-year degree, made up of 36 subjects which gave me a bachelor of education. It's extremely uncommon in that field, anyway, and many other degree courses, to do a master's level degree immediately. Some do a master's degree 10-20 years later.

I also get the impression that you go off to college in the US and do all sorts of subjects in different areas. That's pretty uncommon here too. You would usually do a degree in nursing, or law, or pychology, or acounting, and follow a fairly prescribed set of subjects.

I only picked 4 elective subjects in four years, and they had to all be from a specific area. So out of my 36 subjects, I could have done 4 electives all in the area of early childhood education, or literature, or history etc. The rest all just appeared on my timetable. And because my uni was pretty small, there was no planning my own timetable. It came prescribed as well.

My sister went to school in Ireland and I was surprised at the lack of choices she had. In most US schools (cause I am sure there is an exception somewhere) there are a lot of electives in addition to the core classes. For example I had to take my core computer science classes, 2 arts classes, 2 history classes, 2 science classes and something else that I can't remember. I had a lot of leeway as to what those electives were. I don't think my sister got any electives and she didn't really schedule her own classes - she was told which classes she would take what semester. For me I got to pick when I took the classes - the only gotchas were I had to take some classes in a certain order so it made sense to take them one semester after the other.

So you ended up with a degree in computer science? But had to take history classes as part of that. That's pretty unusual here. Universities here have much more of a focus on training people for a particular profession rather than just on providing a broad education.


Part   of the deal is to have a well rounded education. SO I took many computer science classes but also history and art and some others that I just don't remember.

CakeEater

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Re: Paper, and papers, and professors... oh my!
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2013, 10:12:02 PM »
How common is it to go to graduate school straight after finishing your undergraduate degree?

I'm a primary school teacher. I did a 4-year degree, made up of 36 subjects which gave me a bachelor of education. It's extremely uncommon in that field, anyway, and many other degree courses, to do a master's level degree immediately. Some do a master's degree 10-20 years later.

I also get the impression that you go off to college in the US and do all sorts of subjects in different areas. That's pretty uncommon here too. You would usually do a degree in nursing, or law, or pychology, or acounting, and follow a fairly prescribed set of subjects.

I only picked 4 elective subjects in four years, and they had to all be from a specific area. So out of my 36 subjects, I could have done 4 electives all in the area of early childhood education, or literature, or history etc. The rest all just appeared on my timetable. And because my uni was pretty small, there was no planning my own timetable. It came prescribed as well.

My sister went to school in Ireland and I was surprised at the lack of choices she had. In most US schools (cause I am sure there is an exception somewhere) there are a lot of electives in addition to the core classes. For example I had to take my core computer science classes, 2 arts classes, 2 history classes, 2 science classes and something else that I can't remember. I had a lot of leeway as to what those electives were. I don't think my sister got any electives and she didn't really schedule her own classes - she was told which classes she would take what semester. For me I got to pick when I took the classes - the only gotchas were I had to take some classes in a certain order so it made sense to take them one semester after the other.

So you ended up with a degree in computer science? But had to take history classes as part of that. That's pretty unusual here. Universities here have much more of a focus on training people for a particular profession rather than just on providing a broad education.


Part   of the deal is to have a well rounded education. SO I took many computer science classes but also history and art and some others that I just don't remember.

I think it's a great idea. I think universities here have it a bit wrong, in that they are so specific.

So when you're accepted to a university, are you accepted into a particular degree? Here, you apply for, and are accepted into a bachelor of education, bachelor of nursing, bachelor of human movement, bachelor of science, etc.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 10:15:27 PM by CakeEater »

PastryGoddess

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Re: Paper, and papers, and professors... oh my!
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2013, 11:28:13 PM »
How common is it to go to graduate school straight after finishing your undergraduate degree?

I'm a primary school teacher. I did a 4-year degree, made up of 36 subjects which gave me a bachelor of education. It's extremely uncommon in that field, anyway, and many other degree courses, to do a master's level degree immediately. Some do a master's degree 10-20 years later.

I also get the impression that you go off to college in the US and do all sorts of subjects in different areas. That's pretty uncommon here too. You would usually do a degree in nursing, or law, or pychology, or acounting, and follow a fairly prescribed set of subjects.

I only picked 4 elective subjects in four years, and they had to all be from a specific area. So out of my 36 subjects, I could have done 4 electives all in the area of early childhood education, or literature, or history etc. The rest all just appeared on my timetable. And because my uni was pretty small, there was no planning my own timetable. It came prescribed as well.

My sister went to school in Ireland and I was surprised at the lack of choices she had. In most US schools (cause I am sure there is an exception somewhere) there are a lot of electives in addition to the core classes. For example I had to take my core computer science classes, 2 arts classes, 2 history classes, 2 science classes and something else that I can't remember. I had a lot of leeway as to what those electives were. I don't think my sister got any electives and she didn't really schedule her own classes - she was told which classes she would take what semester. For me I got to pick when I took the classes - the only gotchas were I had to take some classes in a certain order so it made sense to take them one semester after the other.

So you ended up with a degree in computer science? But had to take history classes as part of that. That's pretty unusual here. Universities here have much more of a focus on training people for a particular profession rather than just on providing a broad education.


Part   of the deal is to have a well rounded education. SO I took many computer science classes but also history and art and some others that I just don't remember.

I think it's a great idea. I think universities here have it a bit wrong, in that they are so specific.

So when you're accepted to a university, are you accepted into a particular degree? Here, you apply for, and are accepted into a bachelor of education, bachelor of nursing, bachelor of human movement, bachelor of science, etc.

It depends, but usually your Freshman and Sophmore year you are allowed to take classes without declaring a major.  Once you hit your junior and senior year, you have to declare a major and all of your classes are geared towards your major.  However, most students begin college with an idea of what they want to major in. Each major has a degree plan, outlining what classes are needed to get your degree.  If a student also wants to minor in a related field, they can use their electives or core classes to focus on their minor

For example, I went back to school part time about 3 years ago. I'm getting a Bachelor's in Marketing and minoring in Communications. Because of this all of my electives are being used towards communications classes.  In contrast when I initially went to college, I already had an associates degree so I declared my major in Business Administration.  I chose to dabble with my electives and took classes that I thought were interesting but didn't focus on a specific field

Ereine

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Re: Paper, and papers, and professors... oh my!
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2013, 12:32:40 AM »
I'm in Finland. I didn't go to a university but a polytechnic (or a university of applied sciences as they're called here). They were designed to be the higher level of vocational training and offer more practical degrees, like nursing and some engineering and things like that. I studied Visual Communication and my program had something like 20 students in my year and we had most classes together with maybe six regular teachers so we got to know each other. We had some lecture hall classes but mostly we just did different projects in small groups. We did have to write a few papers and I think that they were sometimes measured in pages (A4) because I remember sometimes using Arial which takes a lot more space than Garamond for example. None of our teachers were professors and I don't think that any of them were doctors, we called them by first names. My degree was supposed to take four years but I think that only a few people graduated in that time, it took me one semester extra because studying abroad put me back. We had a certain amount of electives and in theory we could have studied anything the school offered but in practice it was difficult and so we stuck to our own department. I used most of electives for the classes I took abroad (photography, painting, animation) but I also had a few classes like drawing comics at my own school. We also had to do internships and do a certain amount of credits on a larger real project we could choose (things like music videos and short films and books) and then do a major project to graduate (that also involved writing a longer but still pretty simple thesis type paper). We had certain subjects that everyone, regardless of their degree had to take but they were mostly languages, Finnish, English and Swedish.

For universities, I think that the goal for most people is master's degree though it's now possible to do a bachelor's degree too. As far as I know, teaching requires a master's degree.

Higher education is free, based on the idea that a small country needs to be well-educated. It's possible to get student loans and students get a small grant, enough to live on if you don't eat much and live in student housing.

scotcat60

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Re: Paper, and papers, and professors... oh my!
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2013, 05:16:30 AM »
I think it's a great idea. I think universities here have it a bit wrong, in that they are so specific.

Well you can argue that varied courses give you a rounded education, but in the UK, if you are say studying English, then it's usually because you want to teach, or do research in English, so you study for and get, we hope, a degree in English. I had an American friend who was taking IT studies, History of French Art, and Human Anatomy.  This included dissecting human body parts at the local medical school. I'm not sure what her degree was called if and when she got it. She enjoyed the Anatomy, but it did not qualify her to be a doctor or nurse. As someone said " Universities here have much more of a focus on training people for a particular profession rather than just on providing a broad education."

CakeEater

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Re: Paper, and papers, and professors... oh my!
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2013, 06:17:55 AM »
I think it's a great idea. I think universities here have it a bit wrong, in that they are so specific.

Well you can argue that varied courses give you a rounded education, but in the UK, if you are say studying English, then it's usually because you want to teach, or do research in English, so you study for and get, we hope, a degree in English. I had an American friend who was taking IT studies, History of French Art, and Human Anatomy.  This included dissecting human body parts at the local medical school. I'm not sure what her degree was called if and when she got it. She enjoyed the Anatomy, but it did not qualify her to be a doctor or nurse. As someone said " Universities here have much more of a focus on training people for a particular profession rather than just on providing a broad education."

He he. I said both of those things.

What I meant by the first statement, is that universities here in Australia used to be about receiving a broad education.

Teacher training, nursing, architecture, and other training for specific professions used to be taught by technical colleges. We used to go to Teacher's College here to train to be a teacher. At some stage that was done away with, and universities because technical training schools as well, and I would argue that universities should have stuck with what they did well, ie broad education, and left training for professions to other institutions, as described by Ereine in her post of how things work in Finland.

And Finland's education system is the envy of the world.

It does seem unusual that you could receive a degree in English literature in the US and have done an anatomy subject that counted towards it. I was annoyed enough at doing 4 subjects out of 36 that didn't really seem to contribute towards my understanding of teaching during my degree.

Sharnita

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Re: Paper, and papers, and professors... oh my!
« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2013, 04:18:54 PM »
Honestly, there are thongs in litersture that I might understand better after an anatomy class. If I end up writing murder mysteries it might help. As somebody studying history it might help as I read historical accounts of battlefield wounds. It might just make me more aware of my own health, which could make me a more valuable employee in any field.

kherbert05

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Re: Paper, and papers, and professors... oh my!
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2013, 04:59:06 PM »
How common is it to go to graduate school straight after finishing your undergraduate degree?

I'm a primary school teacher. I did a 4-year degree, made up of 36 subjects which gave me a bachelor of education. It's extremely uncommon in that field, anyway, and many other degree courses, to do a master's level degree immediately. Some do a master's degree 10-20 years later.

I also get the impression that you go off to college in the US and do all sorts of subjects in different areas. That's pretty uncommon here too. You would usually do a degree in nursing, or law, or pychology, or acounting, and follow a fairly prescribed set of subjects.

I only picked 4 elective subjects in four years, and they had to all be from a specific area. So out of my 36 subjects, I could have done 4 electives all in the area of early childhood education, or literature, or history etc. The rest all just appeared on my timetable. And because my uni was pretty small, there was no planning my own timetable. It came prescribed as well.

My sister went to school in Ireland and I was surprised at the lack of choices she had. In most US schools (cause I am sure there is an exception somewhere) there are a lot of electives in addition to the core classes. For example I had to take my core computer science classes, 2 arts classes, 2 history classes, 2 science classes and something else that I can't remember. I had a lot of leeway as to what those electives were. I don't think my sister got any electives and she didn't really schedule her own classes - she was told which classes she would take what semester. For me I got to pick when I took the classes - the only gotchas were I had to take some classes in a certain order so it made sense to take them one semester after the other.

So you ended up with a degree in computer science? But had to take history classes as part of that. That's pretty unusual here. Universities here have much more of a focus on training people for a particular profession rather than just on providing a broad education.


Part   of the deal is to have a well rounded education. SO I took many computer science classes but also history and art and some others that I just don't remember.

I think it's a great idea. I think universities here have it a bit wrong, in that they are so specific.

So when you're accepted to a university, are you accepted into a particular degree? Here, you apply for, and are accepted into a bachelor of education, bachelor of nursing, bachelor of human movement, bachelor of science, etc.
In many US Universities you don't declare your major straight away. You have to take foundation courses in any different departments then you get more specialized after you declare your major. You can even change your major partway through - My sister changed hers the end of her Sophomore (2nd) or beginning of Junior (3rd) year.


I went to a Liberal Art School and have a degree in Political Science. I took Freshman and Sophomore level writing courses, a couple of math courses, Philosophy/Religion course, Multidisciplinary course on Chicago's history and development, Multidisciplinary course on Greek and Roman Myths, a couple of lit classes, Russian History, Japanese Politics and Culture, sociology, computer programming and I think 3 basic science classes (Earth, Chem, and Bio). The most variety were in my Freshman and Sophomore years. Junior and Senior year tended to be mostly political science/history/multidisciplinary courses.


You took on average 5 classes a semester. Except for science most met 3 hours a week (1 hour MWF or 1.5 hours TT). Science had lab and lecture hours so they usually were 4 or 5 hours a week. For every hour in class you were told you should spend 2 - 3 hours reading, researching, studying. Having grown up with round robin reading of text books in class, it was a big change.


I really loved the multidisciplinary courses. There were no lectures. You read the material/watch some movies. Then class was a discussion format. The professors would debate each other sometimes showing how the different disciplines looked at same event from different angles. You didn't have right and wrong answers - you had to show your thinking and back up your point of view. Drove the kids from the hard sciences nuts.
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Barney girl

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Re: Paper, and papers, and professors... oh my!
« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2013, 05:04:10 PM »
I believe that in Scotland an honours degree is still usually four years, with an ordinary degree being three years.
When my parents were at Edinburgh in the late 40s - early 50s you had to cover a range of subjects, so my mother, who was never keen on science did geography for the science part and my father, who was no good at languages, but was studying archaeology, did Sanskrit for his compulsory language.
I considered going to Edinburgh myself to read law and I don't remember re this being mentioned at the open day, but I do remember those who would be coming in from the Scottish schools being told they would have to do an extra year of groundwork if they came in at age 17 because the Highers are wider, but not as specialised as A'levels.
I read law in England and we had a number of core subjects that have to be covered if you wanted to qualify as a solicitor or barrister, then others which the University made compulsory, but by the third year we chose from a range, with only Jurisprudence being compulsory.

I think I would have loved the American system. I hated having to give up subjects at different stages of my education.

The next year at the College of Law was a real culture shock - allocated desks, no choices and generally being treated as though we were 14.

On the other subject of paper - why are so many different sizes used? If I'm notarising documents for Florida I find there may be three or four different sizes of paper in the bundle. Is there a specific reason for this? If my client is emailed the documents they just print onto A4 and that doesn't seem to cause an issue.

Sophia

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Re: Paper, and papers, and professors... oh my!
« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2013, 05:23:48 PM »
In the US, it is generally only the first year classes that are massive.  After that it was rare for a class to have over 30 people.  Depends on the university, though.  I knew several of my professors.  Enough that when I back for a Masters in a different department 15 years later, the ones that were still there remembered me. 

I always called them Professor XYZ.  Some of the older professors didn't have their Ph.D. and they were touchy about that.  Plus, I consider Professor to be a higher title.  I never had a class that wasn't taught by a professor. 

I've been paying attention to the homeschooling information/books/boards, since we will be doing that.  There is a discussion going now about online universities.  One of the cons that people point out is the lack of class discussion and being able to drop in on your professor and ask questions.  it sounds a lot like what the OP mentioned.

I think one reason for the broad range of subjects required at U.S. University is to make up for the lack in the student's previous education.  They can't assume that the student has already had a well-rounded, good education.  So, everyone is required to take 2 Composition , 2 Literature, 2 History, ? Math, ? Science, 1 Political Science, 3 Humanities.  Plus, probably some others I've forgotten.  That is assuming you don't need remedial classes. 

eta:  I didn't have room for electives, but most college students do.  My B.S. in Physics, required 134 credits.  A class that meets 3 hours a week, is 3 credits.  So, if you wanted to finish in 4 years like I did, you had to average 16.75 hours per semester.  You are supposed to assume 3 hours of study time for every hour of lecture time so 67 hours per week studying.  I resented the heck out of the fluff I was forced to take. 
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 05:35:01 PM by Sophia »