Presentation Title

If We Require First-Year Writing Students to Read Academic Articles, We Must Teach Them How

Location

Room 1220 A

Type of Presentation

Individual paper/presentation (20 minute presentation)

Target Audience

Higher Education

Abstract

In the past, very little literature has addressed teaching reading of academic articles. Only now, as we begin to look closely at the behaviors of first-year writers and classify the errors they make, are we beginning to realize how crucial reading instruction is. I once observed errors that occurred repeatedly and with little logic until I realized that my students were simply overwhelmed by the research articles they were attempting to digest for their argumentative essays. Since that epiphany, I have used a number of reading strategies to enable students to feel comfortable enough with difficult material to use it effectively. First, we must acknowledge that even for academics, research articles are difficult to read, especially when we are reading outside our areas of expertise. For college freshmen, with little experience of the academic world, these articles are doubly or even trebly difficult. However, I have observed students having some success in interpreting these articles when they begin to understand what academic writing entails. The skills that I will cover in my presentation include comprehending structure, developing vocabulary skills, learning how to handle material that is incomprehensible (statistics, in my case), and losing the fear of the difficult. I will conclude with a summary of why I now believe that instruction in reading difficult articles helps students not only improve their ability to read peer-reviewed articles, but also enables them to learn coping skills that may help them succeed in their overall educational experiences. Participants will be invited to add comments or ask questions throughout the presentation.

Presentation Description

This is a PowerPoint presentation in which the presenter welcomes audience questions and comments. Personal experiences as well as theoretical issues surrounding teaching first-year writers to read peer-reviewed, academic articles with be discussed. I will discuss reading strategies dealing with vocabulary, structure, and engaging with the incomprehensible.

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Sep 25th, 4:15 PM Sep 25th, 5:30 PM

If We Require First-Year Writing Students to Read Academic Articles, We Must Teach Them How

Room 1220 A

In the past, very little literature has addressed teaching reading of academic articles. Only now, as we begin to look closely at the behaviors of first-year writers and classify the errors they make, are we beginning to realize how crucial reading instruction is. I once observed errors that occurred repeatedly and with little logic until I realized that my students were simply overwhelmed by the research articles they were attempting to digest for their argumentative essays. Since that epiphany, I have used a number of reading strategies to enable students to feel comfortable enough with difficult material to use it effectively. First, we must acknowledge that even for academics, research articles are difficult to read, especially when we are reading outside our areas of expertise. For college freshmen, with little experience of the academic world, these articles are doubly or even trebly difficult. However, I have observed students having some success in interpreting these articles when they begin to understand what academic writing entails. The skills that I will cover in my presentation include comprehending structure, developing vocabulary skills, learning how to handle material that is incomprehensible (statistics, in my case), and losing the fear of the difficult. I will conclude with a summary of why I now believe that instruction in reading difficult articles helps students not only improve their ability to read peer-reviewed articles, but also enables them to learn coping skills that may help them succeed in their overall educational experiences. Participants will be invited to add comments or ask questions throughout the presentation.