Tell the Truth: Does Your Homework Help You Learn?September 18, 2017

A Young Australians Survey revealed that Aussie students would be slugging away at homework than (Aussie) students a decade ago, and the girls were leading the way. A global study of student welfare also found schoolchildren in Australia were under extreme pressure to succeed compared to other students from OECD countries. But kids have to do the homework.

These conflicting statements should make you wonder if the quantity of homework is less important than the quality. There's a truth behind it, but the human brain would respond differently to a variety of subjects. (If we rephrase the previous statement, your brain doesn't think the same way on a math problem and an essay assignment.) How do you define a quality homework? If it's math, then it must be solving the same problem over and over again. (Not all students can understand the Pythagorean Theorem on their first attempt. Memorizing the basic principle doesn't guarantee success on complex problems.) It will be a different approach in literature. (There are no absolutes in literary criticism.)

Your homework in literature helps you, without a doubt. It will teach you some skills that will help you in your career later on. It doesn't matter what career you have, as good communication is essential in any business. (And it's imperative in academics.) Let's have a closer look at the matter.

How an Essay Assignment Can Make You Better (and Smarter)

Homework will turn you into a responsible adult. Your college years will be memorable for many reasons, but the lessons in responsibility will make you appreciate your professors for the workload (or burden if you're in a melodramatic mood). There will be a deadline for your assignment, and it would be foolish to ignore it. Procrastination won't help you especially if you have another deadline on the horizon. (You'll feel the strain if you have to study for an examination. How much can your brain endure in such a condition? It may not be a wise thing to find it out. On the other hand, you can charge it to experience and not repeat it.) The moral lesson is to plan your homework, such that you can do it in a few sessions. (It will be better if you can finish the task in one sitting, but it might exhaust you. And you have other tasks to think about.)

Homework will teach you to read a book carefully. It doesn't suggest that you try too hard to read the assigned book. You might end up exhausted after a few chapters. Read the pages casually while you try to be interested in the story. Don't expect to be engaged in it after the first chapter unless you're reading a book by your favourite author (or genre). You'll be drawn to it after five chapters. What happens next will depend on your schedule. (If you have lots of time on your side, then you can read the middle chapters. Otherwise, choose one or two. Browse the rest until you reach the last few chapters.) Keep in mind that this isn't a chore if you are really passionate about literature. If not, then take your time. It can happen before the end of the term.

Homework requires you to think. Many students won't appreciate it, as they'd rather take it easy. (And prioritise their social life.) Your new mates won't give you ideas that will help you finish your essays ahead of the deadline. (And you won't discover how to write effective essay titles.) You should know that essay assignments will test your scholarly capabilities, and there's no room for doubt. If you're smart enough, then you can ask questions. Your professors will appreciate your honest assessment. Moreover, it will show your genuine interest in the titles. There's no need to be modest about it, as there are cases when some people appreciate literature later in life. Consider it a privilege.

The Trouble About Homework

If you think that homework has little (or no value) at all, then talk about it with your tutor. Nothing will be more engaging (or exciting) than the clash of different opinion, and you must not be afraid about it. After all, you haven't reach your full potential if you keep on agreeing on what your professors have been telling you during lecture. It doesn't mean you must agree to disagree; you should reach halfway. If it's not the case, then you must agree on something. Another favourite book perhaps.

No one is telling you to check yourself in the mirror after doing your assignment for a few hours, but it will be a good suggestion. If you have that glazed eyes, then it's time to leave the computer screen for a while. It won't hurt if you go out for a walk. Likewise, you must do a shut eye if you notice the eye bags. Make sure that you still have ample time before the deadline.

You can enrich yourself by spending your free time on reading. Think of other titles not included in the reading list. This should help you learn new words, which can turn you into a better writer.

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