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3 Myths About Seminar Classes

November 11, 2019 10:58 , by Doris Hall - | No one following this article yet.
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In college, you'll find different types of classes, some of which may suit your learning styles more than others. Seminar classes, in particular, may be intimidating because of their small class size and substantial reading load. However, taking a seminar class can be an extremely enriching experience; these classes expand your knowledge around a good persuasive speech topics, deepen your critical thinking skills, and improve your reading, discussion, and leadership skills. The following are three myths about seminar classes.

Myth #1: You need prior knowledge of the subject

It's true seminars are discussion-based, but don't let your lack of knowledge of the specific course topic discourage you from taking it. You'll often take seminars in your major, so you'll most likely have a solid foundation on the broader field already. If you come into the class with that foundation - however shaky you may feel it to be - an interest in the topic, and a healthy work ethic, you can do just fine. There are course readings for a reason: so your class to be able to discuss themes around a common text, using a common language. Along the way, you'll pick up facts and knowledge, as well as reading and discussion skills, that will help you succeed as you move towards the end of the semester and any final papers, projects, or presentations.

Myth #2: You need to be an upperclassman

Schools and curriculum vary, but many people believe that seminars are only for upperclassmen. This myth may have subconsciously deterred students from considering a seminar or even looking at its course description. Read up on your course listings and requirements so you won't miss an opportunity. Some colleges have freshman seminars in which students explore current topics - these can often help you figure out your major if you haven't yet decided on one. Other seminars may require you to have taken certain classes. If you are very interested in a seminar, regardless of whether you meet the requirement, contact the professor and see whether or not you'll be able to take the course.

Myth #3: They are narrow and myopic

While seminars are typically focused on a particular subject, it doesn't mean that's all you'll talk about in class. Seminar topics inherently encourage you to interact with their implications in the real world. In addition, don't be afraid to bring in some of your outside knowledge of other topics into class discussion (unless your professor explicitly advises against it). The world is not a vacuum, and while seminar topics are focused for students to speak concretely about a topic, they can broaden your worldview. Use current events, personal connections, and knowledge from other classes and texts as a way into and through course material. Your class discussions may be richer because of it.

Don't hesitate to take a seminar course, especially if you're nervous about a small class or heavy reading. Your professor will give you the tools you need to be successful in class. All you need is an open mind and a willingness to work hard, and you may benefit from the depth of learning that is characteristic of seminars.


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