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13 Things You Can Do to Help Students Improve Their Writing
13 Things You Can Do to Help Students Improve Their Writing
13 Things You Can Do to Help Students Improve Their Writing
13 Things You Can Do to Help Students Improve Their Writing
13 Things You Can Do to Help Students Improve Their Writing
13 Things You Can Do to Help Students Improve Their Writing
13 Things You Can Do to Help Students Improve Their Writing
13 Things You Can Do to Help Students Improve Their Writing
13 Things You Can Do to Help Students Improve Their Writing
13 Things You Can Do to Help Students Improve Their Writing
13 Things You Can Do to Help Students Improve Their Writing
13 Things You Can Do to Help Students Improve Their Writing
13 Things You Can Do to Help Students Improve Their Writing
13 Things You Can Do to Help Students Improve Their Writing
13 Things You Can Do to Help Students Improve Their Writing
13 Things You Can Do to Help Students Improve Their Writing
13 Things You Can Do to Help Students Improve Their Writing
13 Things You Can Do to Help Students Improve Their Writing
13 Things You Can Do to Help Students Improve Their Writing
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13 Things You Can Do to Help Students Improve Their Writing

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What can SLIS faculty do to help students succeed in their writing assignments? Here are 13 things, from designing clear assignments to setting student expectations to providing thoughtful, …

What can SLIS faculty do to help students succeed in their writing assignments? Here are 13 things, from designing clear assignments to setting student expectations to providing thoughtful, constructive feedback. For the companion handout, see http://www.slideshare.net/laurieputnam/helping-students-improve-their-writing.

Presented at the San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science Faculty Institute, May 2010.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Slide 4 (tip #3): See A Brief Guide to Designing Essay Assignments from Harvard College (http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k24101&pageid=icb.page123718).

Slide 12: Thanks to Anthony Bernier for providing the Term Paper Checklist.

Slide 16 (tip #10): See A Brief Guide to Responding to Student Writing from Harvard College (http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k24101&pageid=icb.page123718).

Slide 17 (tip #11): See Praising, Questioning, Wishing: An Approach to Responding to Writing from Brian Slusher for the National Writing Project (http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource/2868).

And general thanks to Bill Burnette for ongoing advice and frequent reality checks.

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  • 1. 13 things you can do to help students improve their writing A QUICK WALK Laurie Putnam along the path to SJSU SLIS Faculty Institute professional publishing May 14, 2010 © L. Putnam Communications | Toward Better Writing
  • 2. 1 Don’t expect miracles. © L. Putnam Communications | Toward Better Writing
  • 3. 2 Do expect progress. © L. Putnam Communications | Toward Better Writing
  • 4. 3 Design clear assignments. ■  Say what you want & imagine students doing it. ■  Use class time. ■  Build in process. © L. Putnam Communications | Toward Better Writing
  • 5. 4 Set checkpoints. ■  Request thesis & outline early. ■  Help struggling students early. © L. Putnam Communications | Toward Better Writing
  • 6. 5 Try group work or peer reviews. ■  Let students help one another. ■  Provide guiding questions. © L. Putnam Communications | Toward Better Writing
  • 7. 6 Know what’s important to you. © L. Putnam Communications | Toward Better Writing
  • 8. Know what’s important to you Classic criteria Content; substance Research ■  Ideas and analysis ■  Writing quality; expression of ideas Organization ■  Style ■  Mechanics ■  © L. Putnam Communications | Toward Better Writing
  • 9. 7 3. Set expectations. © L. Putnam Communications | Toward Better Writing
  • 10. Set expectations Sample guidelines Assignment: Does paper fully address requirements? Substance ■  Research: Are appropriate sources used & incorporated? ■  Content: Are author’s ideas and analyses well developed? Writing quality ■  Organization: Is content clearly & logically organized? ■  Style: Is voice clear, strong, & pleasing to read? ■  Mechanics: Are grammar, punctuation, & spelling correct? © L. Putnam Communications | Toward Better Writing
  • 11. 8 Try using an evaluation tool. © L. Putnam Communications | Toward Better Writing
  • 12. Try using an evaluation tool LIBR 200 Term Paper Checklist • Includes paper title, your name, course number and section, and date Title Page • Brief but comprehensive summary of the paper’s contents, not Abstract exceeding 120 words (See APA 1.07) • Topic I.D. Intro • Why it’s important • Core overarching/synthetic question assembled from all the secondary scholarship • The overarching answer/thesis interpreted from all the secondary scholarship • Naming the sub-topics identified (the sub-headings) • A new original question that deserves future treatment by the field (based on current gaps or furthering hot topics). • The best papers will offer a speculative answer to the new question • A brief (one or two paragraphs only) synthetic survey of the most Lit Review recent and relevant scholarly writing on your topic. • Note: this is not just a “revision” of your earlier lit review paper • A brief section (about 1 paragraph) noting questions and topics that Gaps you find would strengthen this body of literature or note any gaps you perceive in the current scholarly literature • A transition sentence or two that reiterates what specific topic your paper will address and how it contributes to the literature • Explain the searching processes and search syntax you used to Methodology search, discover, and gather sources used in paper (According to APA, lit review comes before methodology) • Present your findings. This should consist of grouping your secondary Body and sources into categories that makes sense to you. Approach this literature from the point of view of your own original and overarching Findings question. • Take care to use APA format for your parenthetical references • Summarize by restating the core overarching/synthetic question and Conclusion thesis assembled from all the current secondary scholarship you covered • Restate your own central/controlling question and the conclusions that your research supports. This is also an excellent point to also offer or nominate new or different questions you feel are important but have not yet been asked thus far by the literature on your topic. © L. Putnam Communications | Toward Better Writing • Reference list should include at least 20 items (mostly peer-reviewed) References and be presented in the style dictated in the APA Publication Manual.
  • 13. Try using an evaluation tool Criteria Points Comments Content (50%) 3 6 9 12 15 Organization 1 2 3 4 5 Style 1 2 3 4 5 Mechanics 1 2 3 4 5 Total points & general comments © L. Putnam Communications | Toward Better Writing
  • 14. Try using an evaluation tool Sample rubrics ■  http://tinyurl.com/Drake-Rubric ■  http://tinyurl.com/MarsHill-Rubric ■  http://tinyurl.com/UC-Harvard-Rubric A QUICK WALK ■  http://tinyurl.com/UColorado-Rubric http://tinyurl.com/APUS-Rubric ■  along the path to professional publishing © L. Putnam Communications | Toward Better Writing
  • 15. 9 Read each paper twice. ■  Skim through once. ■  Then read carefully. © L. Putnam Communications | Toward Better Writing
  • 16. 10 Give summary comments. ■  Restate paper’s main point. ■  Discuss strengths. ■  Discuss weaknesses. © L. Putnam Communications | Toward Better Writing
  • 17. 11 Encourage. Question. Consider. © L. Putnam Communications | Toward Better Writing
  • 18. 12 Review others as you would have others review you. ■  Be kind. ■  Be clear. ■  Stay focused. © L. Putnam Communications | Toward Better Writing
  • 19. 13 Remember the goals. ■  Let students know where they stand. ■  Help students improve their work. © L. Putnam Communications | Toward Better Writing

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