The Subjectivity of the Arts in Academia

I was conversing with my mom a couple of days ago about the existence of subjectivity when it comes to marking the arts in an academic sense. I was explaining to her how frustrating it can be when a particular teacher or professor is not necessarily fond of how you present something and therefore gives you a poor mark. I encounter this disadvantage frequently in schooling, specifically because I took English Language and Literature in university. If a professor did not like my writing style, I did poorly in the class, yet my writing style simultaneously appealed to an entirely different professor. This inconsistency angered me, and in conversation with my mother, I realized how flawed marking in academia is when it comes to the arts.

Throughout my schooling, I have been told repetitively that I tend to use too many words within my writing. I agree with this observation to a certain extent, however, I think it is unjust to be asked to completely alter my writing style to please one person, especially if my writing style is favored by another.

The inconsistency of marking the arts in academia is frustrating because it is not comparable to maths or sciences. In these subjects, work is typically right or wrong, and a person’s mark does not entirely depend on the opinion of their teacher.

I am completely aware of the fact that my opinion regarding this matter may not be supported by others, but I certainly believe it is worth discussing. Why should the success of a student’s work vary due to subjectivity and personal opinion? I believe a more concrete marking scheme should be developed within the arts, one that is comparable to how math and science are evaluated.

What is your opinion on this matter? Leave a comment below and share!


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