Proposal Title

Can We Teach Students to Integrate Sources in Their Writing?

Track

Research Proposal / Assessment of Student Learning

Proposal Abstract

We discuss the results of a Lesson Study examining source integration in student writing in Freshman Composition and Business Communication. We were concerned about the students’ ability to effectively integrate sources and their tendency to string quotes together in their writing. An interdisciplinary team of five faculty collaborated to find more effective instructional strategies to develop students’ ability to cite sources. We collected student writing to analyze instructional effectiveness. Our findings suggest that students can better integrate citations when they are shown how, practice, and reflect, but students continue to struggle with citation without instructor guidance.

Proposal Description

The question guiding our lesson study project was whether we could develop instructional activities to enhance students’ source integration in their writing. Howard and Jamieson indicate in the Citation Project that students struggle with source citation because they have not or are unable to understand the source material. Appropriate reading and writing strategies are needed to quote. Stagg et al. (2013) argue that because “referencing, like research and other academic disciplines, has often not been taught explicitly” the attitude of first-year university students toward referencing is that of compliance. Owens and White (2013) conclude that students need help to think beyond compliance in order to integrate sources responsibly and effectively.

The lesson study process begins with identification of a concept or procedure that students have difficulty mastering. For this project, we identified source integration. We developed a week and a half of lessons focused on developing the necessary skills for source integration. The lesson study team took extensive field notes on the students’ performance/behavior during the lesson. We debriefed using our field notes, student exercises, and student reflections. We used this data as well as the final research projects to analyze the overall effectiveness of the instruction.

Findings from our completed study suggest that students can integrate sources when they are shown how, given time to practice, and reflect on how they are using sources in their writing. The results indicate that students struggle to apply this skill without instructor guidance as seen in their final papers.

Audience Engagement

  1. Participants write the kinds of problems they notice students have when using sources on individual sticky notes (1 problem/note).
  2. Participants will post their notes on a poster with 2-3 others and arrange in themes.
  3. Participants will move to a new poster to brainstorm instructional strategies to address issues.

References

Howard, R. M. Serviss, T. and Rodrigue, T. K. (2010). Writing from sources, writing from sentences. Writing & Pedagogy 2 (2), 177-192. DOI: 10.1558/wap.v2i2.177.

Jamieson, S. (2013). Reading and engaging sources: What students' use of sources reveals about advanced writing skills. Across the Disciplines 10 (4). http://wac.colostate.edu/atd/reading/jamieson.cfm.

Owens, C. and White, F.A. (2013). A 5-year systematic strategy to reduce plagiarism among first-year psychology university students. Australian Journal of Psychology, 65(1): 14–21. DOI: 10.1111/ajpy.12005

Stagg, A.; Kimmins, L. & Pavlovski, N. (2013). Academic style with substance: a collaborative screencasting project to support referencing skills. The Electronic Library 31 (4): 452-464. DOI: 10.1108/EL-01-2012-0005

Session Format

Presentation Session

Location

Room 5

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Mar 30th, 2:00 PM Mar 30th, 2:45 PM

Can We Teach Students to Integrate Sources in Their Writing?

Room 5

We discuss the results of a Lesson Study examining source integration in student writing in Freshman Composition and Business Communication. We were concerned about the students’ ability to effectively integrate sources and their tendency to string quotes together in their writing. An interdisciplinary team of five faculty collaborated to find more effective instructional strategies to develop students’ ability to cite sources. We collected student writing to analyze instructional effectiveness. Our findings suggest that students can better integrate citations when they are shown how, practice, and reflect, but students continue to struggle with citation without instructor guidance.