writing

Tips for Students: Exploring a Research Topic

What advice do you share with your students when assigning a research paper or project? Share your thoughts on helping learners focus on a topic of research in the comments section below. So you’ve been assigned a research paper, and you have a pretty good idea of what you’d like to write about (or maybe not quite yet). What’s next? Rather than just diving in and committing to writing about a topic, Susan Miller-Cochran and Rochelle Rodrigo, authors of The Wadsworth Guide to Research, recommend that you take some time to explore it more fully to ensure that Read More…


Let’s Be Honest: Plagiarism Happens

Guest Contributor: Audrey A. Wick, Blinn College.  Today, Audrey Wick shares some of the steps she’s taken to address the pernicious issue of plagiarism in her courses. How do you fight plagiarism in your course? Are there specific tools or measures that have been the most effective? Share your comments below. It was a sweet essay from one of my first-semester composition students about the birth of her child. The narrative contained all the trappings of an effective inaugural student composition: it was written on-prompt, it was formatted accordingly to MLA conventions, it contained a clear opening with a discernible thesis statement—and, Read More…


Rhetorically Evaluating Sources

We want to hear from you. What do you tell students about evaluating sources for research projects or papers? Share your tips, the advice that you share with your classes, or guidelines that you lay out for students, in the comments section below. Do you find that your students encounter challenges thinking critically about which sources to choose as they research and write because they have so much information available at their fingertips? With the rise of Wikipedia and discussion boards available on just about any topic you can think of, how can you steer learners in the right Read More…


Using Web 2.0 Resources for Research Papers

Blogs. Wikis. Social networks. Often populated with user-generated content, these Web 2.0 tools can provide a wealth of useful and entertaining information, and we consult them on a regular basis. But should students consider them reliable sources of information for formal research papers? Of course, in some respects, it depends on the nature of the project. However, given the right circumstances, these could potentially be helpful means of discovering worthwhile material. In The Wadsworth Guide to Research, Second Edition, Susan Miller-Cochran and Rochelle Rodrigo offer guidance for how students might potentially use these resources ethically and effectively.

    Given the
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Student Perspectives on Research and Writing

Though it’s certainly possible — and absolutely necessary — to teach the fundamental principles and processes of writing a solid research paper, we often glean some of the most valuable and longest-lasting lessons from our own experiences. In this vein, our colleagues at Questia asked their readers: “what’s the best lesson you’ve learned about writing a great paper?” To read the top five student responses, visit the Questia blog. These remarks can give you insight into the student mind — and perhaps inspire you to ask your own students to share what they’ve learned from their experiences. Questia is the premier Read More…


Preventing Plagiarism: Tips for You and Tips to Share

Four Tips for You Taking steps to prevent plagiarism can help save you and your students from the unpleasant task of handling plagiarism. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, contributors Peter Elbow and Mary Deane Sorcinelli outline how you can take action to prevent plagiarism.

    Be clear in your syllabus about what plagiarism is in your course. Let them know what they’ll need to provide to show their research, as well as how you expect them to work with — or not work with — their classmates.
    Encourage questions. Let your students know that if they’re doubtful about proper citations
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