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ERIC Number: ED346462
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar-20
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
What in the World Is "Analysis?" Lessons from Non-Western Graduate Students.
Fox, Helen
A five-year exploratory study investigated the difficulties with analytical writing experienced by 16 graduate students from 12 non-western countries. Freshman writing program handbook definitions of "analysis" were surveyed; seven professors of international graduate students were interviewed on their definitions of "analysis" or "analytical writing"; each of the professors offered examples of student writing demonstrating "good analysis" and "poor analysis"; and international students were interviewed about their difficulties in writing for the American university. These explorations led to the conclusion that critical thinking made visible (that is, analytical writing) is not so much a mental process or intellectual skill, as a culturally specific world view that is individualistic, egalitarian, scientific, and is based on a direct, sparse communication style that relies on little shared knowledge better writer and audience. Students from non-western cultures, on the other hand, tend to value indirectness or more roundabout communication strategies, expect the reader to infer a great deal that is left unstated, value tradition and authority more than "originality," and find it inappropriate or unfruitful to critique authorities in a field, especially while a student. Teachers who realize the culture-bound nature of critical thinking and analysis will be able to use "difference language" rather than "deficit language" when working with international students, and will find it easier to help them understand what they are doing, what Western teachers do, and how to work together to bridge the gap. (SR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A