ERIC Number: ED237999
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Oct-13
Reference Count: 0
Beyond Critical Thinking: Teaching Students to Use Their Knowledge in Academic Writing.
McCleary, William J.
The case approach to academic writing requires a student to use subjects in an active way while writing. This approach, appropriate in content courses as well as in composition classes, improves a writer's logic more quickly and effectively than concentrating on logic alone. In the case approach, a student is given a body of information about a case and told to "interpret" the evidence on the basis of the contents of the textbook. Focusing on the "contents" of a deductive argument rather than the rules of deduction, the writer combines three basic kinds of content--evidence, rules of interpretation, and definitions--to create a sound deductive argument. When using this approach, teachers may wish to follow these procedures: (1) provide a specific outline; (2) introduce a heuristic procedure to help a student develop arguments; (3) present model essays to read and discuss; (4) provide opportunity for practice, in the form of ungraded essays; (5) spend a month on the unit to move from fictional to real cases; and (6) provide handouts and exercises. Additional considerations in using this method include the level of student knowledge, the difficulty and ambiguity of the process, and the difficulty of finding readable materials to show students that real people use deductive discourse in practical situations. (Sample cases, assignments, and an essay are included.) (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Case Histories
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Northeast Regional Conference on English in the Two-Year College (18th, Atlantic City, NJ, October 13-15, 1983).