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Research as conversation: A teaching metaphor for research writing in the curriculum. Public Deposited

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This presentation was given at WILU (Workshops in Library Use) an international library instruction conference held annually in Canada.


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  • Writing literacy, in the form of Writing Intensive Curricula or Writing Across the Curriculum, has made significant inroads in undergraduate education, and is now often required for graduation. As library faculty increase collaborative teaching efforts with their colleagues in the disciplines, we see these discipline-based writing intensive courses as unique opportunities to promote mutually shared goals for information literacy. We all want students to learn how to effectively and responsibly participate in ongoing disciplinary discourse through their research and writing efforts. Our mutual understanding and, therefore, cooperation are often hampered by discipline-based jargon as well as linear and product focused teaching approaches. Yet the processes we are trying to teach, research and writing, are anything but sequential and tidy. Our qualitative assessment of students’ research-based argument papers for the English composition program provided no evidence that students were learning the key skills of critically examining resources, analyzing and synthesizing information. These results launched our efforts to find a better pedagogical model, and our conversational metaphor for research is the outcome. Small and large group discussion will set the stage for a brief overview of our assessment and our process for seeking out, developing, and continuing to refine a new approach to synchronously building research and writing competence. Although other authors have examined how students and faculty conduct research for writing projects, or offer suggestions for teaching research writing, they often remain within their disciplinary models and speak in their own ‘dialect’, i.e., discipline-based jargon. The conversational metaphor seeks specifically to reach across disciplines and experience levels by finding a common language for communication between faculty and with our students. We invite participants into our discussion about teaching the conversational metaphor for research writing and talk about how our own interactions model the processes we are trying to teach our students.
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  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2005-09-06T19:47:03Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 WILU 2005.ppt: 208384 bytes, checksum: 0f75a352d530fd1b9dada1db781f5517 (MD5) Previous issue date: 2005
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