ERIC Number: ED334582
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Oct
Reference Count: N/A
"This Was an Easy Assignment": Examining How Students Interpret Academic Writing Tasks. Technical Report No. 43.
A study explored academic writing from the students' side of the desk, examining how different tasks and writing situations influenced students' approaches. The study used interviews and process logs to examine how 13 college freshmen interpreted writing assignments in a variety of courses (sociology, engineering, and literature) and how these interpretations differed from their instructors' intentions. Results indicated that: (1) students' responses to assignments depended upon what they were actually rewarded for producing; and (2) in some situations, students relied on short cuts to produce papers and failed to engage in the kinds of learning activities that assignments were designed to promote. Findings suggest that students draw from a range of individual and situational resources in their efforts to define and complete assignments and that these factors can interact in complex ways to shape students' approaches. (Thirty-nine references and guidelines for a paper for a sociology course are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Study of Writing, Berkeley, CA.; Center for the Study of Writing, Pittsburgh, PA.
Identifiers: Writing Contexts; Writing Tasks