WIS-ful Thinking Blog

The WIS-ful Thinking Blog

is a biweekly sampler of the new, developing, and tried-and-true in writing and writing instruction at Western Washington University.

Here you’ll find offerings from Writing Instruction Support and the Learning Commons, plus writing tips and trends, Frequently Asked Questions, and information about the WWU writing curriculum.

Want WIS-ful Thinking delivered to your inbox? Sign up for blog updates below.

Sign up for Blog Updates!

WIS-ful Thinking Blog

6 Research-Writing Problems and 1 Solution

Posted on: Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 4:47pm

Topic(s): Teaching Writing

Judging from conversations with faculty and the Research-Writing Studio staff, instructors teaching research writing assignments at WWU face a number of challenges:

  1. It’s difficult to fit all the elements of a research project—identifying a topic, finding sources, writing and revising an independent project—into a ten-week course.
     
  2. Instructors who are responsible for teaching disciplinary content may feel they lack the time or expertise to teach writing.
     
  3. With so many facts and documents available through a Google search, students may not have learned how to use other databases to find and identify appropriate academic sources.
     
  4. Students may lack the analytical skills they need to understand, evaluate, and critique their research sources. They may especially need assistance in handling sources that challenge the student’s own position, thesis, or results.
     
  5. Students may find it difficult to distinguish between summarizing and synthesizing research sources.
     
  6. Students may need assistance with paper organization and writing conventions.
     

If you’re thinking your way through any of these issues, please consider participating in an upcoming Learning Commons workshop on “Teaching the Literature Review,” featuring a panel of professors from Communication Sciences and Disorders, Environmental Studies, and Sociology, as well as representatives from the Hacherl Research and Writing Studio. Although the workshop has a focus on literature review assignments in particular, the discussion should be relevant to anyone who teaches a course with a significant research writing component.  

It’s an opportunity to pick up tips on structuring courses and writing assignments, or to offer suggestions about how Learning Commons and the Research and Writing Studio might best support you in your teaching. (Also I’m informed there will be a cheese plate. And fruit.)

“Teaching the Literature Review” will be held on February 1st, 4-5pm in HH 222. An RSVP to LearningCommons@wwu.edu is not required, but will guarantee you a packet of sample assignments and resources to take away from the session.

This quarter will also see continuing meetings for two Writing Instruction Support reading groups. “Research on Teaching Writing,” which examines current concepts and scholarship in writing pedagogy, will continue with further chapters from Naming What We Know, and rumor has it that “Roots of Rhetoric,” after two terms of contextual readings for Plato’s Gorgias, is finally ready to take on the Gorgias itself. The groups are open to all faculty, graduate students, and staff, and new participants are encouraged to join at any time. If you’d like more information about meeting dates or to be added to a mailing list for one of the groups, please email julie.dugger@wwu.edu.


,

6 Research-Writing Problems and 1 Solution

Posted on: Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 4:47pm

Topic(s): WIS News

Judging from conversations with faculty and the Research-Writing Studio staff, instructors teaching research writing assignments at WWU face a number of challenges:

  1. It’s difficult to fit all the elements of a research project—identifying a topic, finding sources, writing and revising an independent project—into a ten-week course.
     
  2. Instructors who are responsible for teaching disciplinary content may feel they lack the time or expertise to teach writing.
     
  3. With so many facts and documents available through a Google search, students may not have learned how to use other databases to find and identify appropriate academic sources.
     
  4. Students may lack the analytical skills they need to understand, evaluate, and critique their research sources. They may especially need assistance in handling sources that challenge the student’s own position, thesis, or results.
     
  5. Students may find it difficult to distinguish between summarizing and synthesizing research sources.
     
  6. Students may need assistance with paper organization and writing conventions.
     

If you’re thinking your way through any of these issues, please consider participating in an upcoming Learning Commons workshop on “Teaching the Literature Review,” featuring a panel of professors from Communication Sciences and Disorders, Environmental Studies, and Sociology, as well as representatives from the Hacherl Research and Writing Studio. Although the workshop has a focus on literature review assignments in particular, the discussion should be relevant to anyone who teaches a course with a significant research writing component.  

It’s an opportunity to pick up tips on structuring courses and writing assignments, or to offer suggestions about how Learning Commons and the Research and Writing Studio might best support you in your teaching. (Also I’m informed there will be a cheese plate. And fruit.)

“Teaching the Literature Review” will be held on February 1st, 4-5pm in HH 222. An RSVP to LearningCommons@wwu.edu is not required, but will guarantee you a packet of sample assignments and resources to take away from the session.

This quarter will also see continuing meetings for two Writing Instruction Support reading groups. “Research on Teaching Writing,” which examines current concepts and scholarship in writing pedagogy, will continue with further chapters from Naming What We Know, and rumor has it that “Roots of Rhetoric,” after two terms of contextual readings for Plato’s Gorgias, is finally ready to take on the Gorgias itself. The groups are open to all faculty, graduate students, and staff, and new participants are encouraged to join at any time. If you’d like more information about meeting dates or to be added to a mailing list for one of the groups, please email julie.dugger@wwu.edu.


Pages