ERIC Number: ED382970
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Reexamining Writing Requirements across the Curriculum: Assignments and Assumptions.
A four-year ethnographic study was conducted at St. Olaf College and examined six assumptions about student attitudes toward writing. The study, involving administration of the Writers Block instrument, writing samples, and several interviews with three students over their 4 years in college, evaluated the following assumptions: (1) that once students learn the value of writing and revising, they will do it; (2) that emphasis on the process is more likely to produce the instructor's definition of good writing; (3) that revision is the site for growth in writing and learning; (4) that students will improve at identifying the rhetorical situation; (5) that students' confidence and competence will grow over time and practice; and (6) that students will come to find writing satisfying as they are successful. Several of the assumptions did not hold up to scrutiny from the perspective of these students' behavior. Preliminary conclusions suggest that in the face of student pragmatism, faculty will need to ask themselves what their goals are for students in their courses. Do they want students to learn to examine issues and data in the same analytical, inquiring mode they do, or are they more interested in having them look up information and produce "correct" academic writing. If the thought process is more important, then instructors need to look at what types of assignments are most effective. (TB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Saint Olaf College MN
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Spring Conference of the National Council of Teachers of English (Minneapolis, MN, March 16-18, 1995).