writing

Invite Your Students to #AskQuestia About Research Paper-Writing Basics

It’s that time of year. A certain briskness and crispness fills the air. Leaves turn their festive autumnal shades of orange, gold, and red. You take your favorite fall sweaters out of storage. And students begin the mad dash to complete their research papers. When you create your research project, you surely anticipate a number of student questions, especially as the due date approaches. Many of those questions will focus on the particulars of your assignment and the content-oriented questions that will arise as a result of the research process. However, others will have more to do with grammar, mechanics, identifying Read More…


Tips for Students: Proofreading Your Paper

It’s a big day: you’re having your first meeting with a very important and influential person. You’ve given yourself a “pep talk” to calm your nerves, you’ve practiced what you want to say several times, and you’ve eaten approximately twelve breath mints. Filled with both confidence and nervous energy, you head out the door. Having given yourself ample time to travel to your meeting spot, you arrive ten minutes early. Still a bit antsy, you go into the restroom and check your teeth, your hair, and your makeup (if you wear it). Everything looks fine. But then, you look down… Read More…


Suggested Guidelines for Student Peer Review

In order for peer-review feedback to be valuable, it needs to offer a degree of specificity. A statement such as “that was great!” may give us a boost of confidence, but it doesn’t help us identify our opportunities for improvement. Likewise, “I didn’t like it” provides no direction in terms of what exactly would make the paper more accurate, informative, or interesting. Whether students will be exchanging peer reviews online, via e-mail, or in person, they will benefit by following a few guidelines that enable them to respond to one another’s writing with clarity, consistency, and respect. Today, Read More…


The Necessary Intellectual Skills for Academic Writers

To some degree or another, many educators rely on traditional taxonomies or curricular clusters to help them explain, prompt, and assess student work. Perhaps they use terms from Bloom’s Taxonomy (“applying,” “analyzing,” “evaluating,” and so forth) when crafting learning objectives. If they teach writing, they also likely incorporate discussion of rhetorical modes such as classification, comparison/contrast, or narration. They also will address rhetorical aims such as explaining and solving. However, these usual taxonomies may overshadow a sizable range of other teachable and vital skills that are crucial for succeeding in academic life. In the webinar “Crucial Thinking: The Read More…


Tips for Conducting Student Peer Reviews Online

Among its numerous other benefits to writing and research, technology provides a variety of ways to simplify the student peer-review process. Here, we share a few ideas that can help foster that process online, adapted from recommendations offered in Susan Miller-Cochran and Rochelle Rodrigo’s Wadsworth Guide to Research, Second Edition:

    Word processing programs offer the ability to track changes and insert comments, making them an ideal tool for peer-review projects. The writer can send a copy of the document via e-mail; each student, in turn, can add on their comments. At the end of the review process, the writer receives the feedback
Read More…


Useful Tips that Encourage Students During the Writing Process

Great writing seems effortless. Yet if you’re at all familiar with the writing process, you’re keenly aware of that key word: “seems.” As much as seasoned writers are accustomed to and enjoy their work, even they occasionally struggle with motivation, groan when they notice a looming deadline, and face dry periods with little to show for their efforts beside a few words scribbled on a pad of paper. Therefore, what appears to the reader as a polished product represents hours of research, writing, and revision—not to mention the stress, frustration, and anxiety the writer may have experienced Read More…


Activity: Grammar Competition

Contributor: Gina Hogan, Citrus College. The objective of the competition is threefold: 1) to assess students on their comfort and knowledge of grammar concepts, 2) to review collectively for an upcoming grammar test, and 3) to engage students in a group activity that enhances student camaraderie and cohesion. The competition requires every student’s participation in answering questions about grammar concepts. The questions pertain to the understanding or application of concepts we have worked on previously. Students perform individually but for team points. In other words, if a student offers the correct answer, the team gets a point, but if the Read More…


Writing is a Building Activity

Contributor: Gina Hogan, Citrus College. In being introduced to writing, students need a clear, consistent approach to increase their confidence and comfort with a task they feel is insurmountable. In my college classes, I teach the first foundational block as writing correct sentences, the second is writing effective paragraphs, and finally writing effective essays. Teaching writing as a building activity where concepts build on each other has worked well in my developmental writing courses. This technique of “building writing” makes the writing process more manageable for students. It allows students to practice each concept or block separately to see Read More…


Higher-Quality Written Assignments: The Role of Artificial Intelligence

An Interview with Erin Joyner, VP and General Manager, and Jason Fremder, Senior Product Manager, Cengage Learning. It has long been recognized by educators and employers that good written communication skills play a critical role in academic and career success. Eleven years ago, the College Board founded the National Commission on Writing to focus national attention on the importance of good writing skills and to help increase funding for programs that help students and job-seekers build their skills. Several years ago, Erin Joyner realized that Cengage Learning needed to provide a technology-based solution to instructors who wanted to increase their students’ opportunities to practice Read More…


Clarifying Written Communication Skills

In a digital world where we often communicate via a quick text or pack a message in 140 characters or less, we can’t overlook that having polished written communication skills is key for professionals in most any field. Your students likely need to compose e-mails to their instructors and potential contacts in their field of study, and correspond with fellow classmates on group work or discussion boards. Beyond their academic careers, students will likely find that good written communication skills are key to demonstrate in cover letters, requests for contact with potential employers, and correspondence with Read More…