ERIC Number: ED285171
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Nov-19
Reference Count: N/A
Evaluated Quantitative Research for Relating Reading and Writing in Beginning College English.
Battle, Mary Vroman
College freshman composition courses are often taught on the assumption that students need little or no help in reading, with the result that reading materials are only used as models of writing. However, research such as a 1978 study at the University of Minnesota wherein freshmen scored significantly lower in reading skills than did freshmen 50 years earlier, indicates that freshmen need to study reading at the instructional level, as they do not appear to absorb it as a function of learning to write. A review of nine experiments that used sentence combining to improve writing showed that the technique failed to improve reading significantly, and three experiments that used analytical reading indicated that the method failed to improve writing. Because reading and writing are different skills, both should be taught directly, but because of their similarities, instruction in reading and writing can take place in the same course. Additional writing research shows that 18-year-old freshmen appear to develop natural capacities for writing--the number of errors they make decreases and the level of sentence complexity increases--but that they need some instruction to continue improvement. Overinstructing them in one narrow area of writing, however, seems to damage students' other writing skills. (Twenty-eight references are included.) (JC)
Descriptors: College English, College Freshmen, Course Content, Freshman Composition, Higher Education, Integrated Activities, Interdisciplinary Approach, Learning Strategies, Reading Difficulties, Reading Research, Reading Skills, Reading Writing Relationship, Student Needs, Writing Research, Writing Skills
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association (15th, Memphis, TN, November 19-21, 1986).