Is it typical for students to ignore a recommended reading list, but then read a lot of other things and discuss then in their essays? I don't particularly mind if they're good (the readings and the sources). But why don't they want to read the things that I thought would be helpful?
@twsh Maybe it's strategic? They go for something the prof didn't recommend, just because of a fear that they'll choose source material the prof is intimately familiar with by accident, and lose marks for a minor error that wouldn't have been caught except that it's the prof's favourite?
@twsh because they have grown in an age when access to information was free and easy. They are conditioned to not depend on other people for knowledge. They assume anything and everything can be learned by typing the appropriate keywords into google and clicking search. While that is true if they are given enough time, what they are missing is the fact that an expert in the field may refine sources better than google. However, soon, even this fact may be invalid.
@twsh It is typical for students to discuss a lot of things they read for other classes to minimize their reading. They may also forget that there was a recommended reading list unless you remind them multiple times, especially at the same time you give them paper topics.