Presentation Title

Framing the Academic Essay: Adapting Students’ Research Strategies for College Classroom

Location

Room 217

Type of Presentation

Individual paper/presentation (20 minute presentation)

Target Audience

Higher Education

Abstract

The transition from high school writing to college writing can be a difficult adjustment for some students. Students often come to the college classroom having had significant practice integrating research that substantiates the claims they are making, and they also seem fairly comfortable close reading texts – particularly written ones. However, these students are not as skilled at framing an academic essay.

In this paper, I will present an assignment, which gives students an opportunity to practice this framing. In my course, I use Joseph Bizup’s BEAM schema (“BEAM: A Rhetorical Vocabulary for Teaching Research-Based Writing,” Rhetoric Review, 2008), which focuses on the use rather than categorization of sources, to introduce the concepts of the literature review (which Bizup refers to as background sources) and lens application (Bizup’s method sources).

This framework assignment, which I developed for a first-year, themed writing seminar, asks student to research and write the framework for a “phantom paper” on an exhibit source, which they’ve been assigned – in this case, a contemporary film. In groups, students research the conversations already occurring on their topics, articulating their own contributions to the conversations. Then, in a library session led by class librarian, they work to find appropriate disciplinary lenses to help them frame those arguments. Once they've completed this research, they write up this framework. For students, this assignment encourages significant intellectual leaps in terms of research and serves as scaffolding for the individual research projects that they will complete later in the semester.

Presentation Description

This presentation focuses on the framing of an academic essay. In it, I discuss a collaborative writing assignment I've developed for a first-year writing seminar.

Keywords

research integration, high school writing, college writing, the academic essay, assignment design

Publication Type and Release Option

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

Framing the Academic Essay: Adapting Students’ Research Strategies for College Classroom

Room 217

The transition from high school writing to college writing can be a difficult adjustment for some students. Students often come to the college classroom having had significant practice integrating research that substantiates the claims they are making, and they also seem fairly comfortable close reading texts – particularly written ones. However, these students are not as skilled at framing an academic essay.

In this paper, I will present an assignment, which gives students an opportunity to practice this framing. In my course, I use Joseph Bizup’s BEAM schema (“BEAM: A Rhetorical Vocabulary for Teaching Research-Based Writing,” Rhetoric Review, 2008), which focuses on the use rather than categorization of sources, to introduce the concepts of the literature review (which Bizup refers to as background sources) and lens application (Bizup’s method sources).

This framework assignment, which I developed for a first-year, themed writing seminar, asks student to research and write the framework for a “phantom paper” on an exhibit source, which they’ve been assigned – in this case, a contemporary film. In groups, students research the conversations already occurring on their topics, articulating their own contributions to the conversations. Then, in a library session led by class librarian, they work to find appropriate disciplinary lenses to help them frame those arguments. Once they've completed this research, they write up this framework. For students, this assignment encourages significant intellectual leaps in terms of research and serves as scaffolding for the individual research projects that they will complete later in the semester.