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ERIC Number: EJ791857
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1041-6099
Understanding the Gap between High School and College Writing
Beil, Cheryl; Knight, Melinda A.
Assessment Update, v19 n6 p6-8 Nov-Dec 2007
A recent article in "The Chronicle of Higher Education" comparing perceptions of college preparedness in writing from the vantage point of high school teachers and college faculty shows that the two groups have dramatically different views. What accounts for these differences in perception? What types of writing assignments are high school students assigned, and with what frequency? What levels of thinking and understanding are they expected to demonstrate in their writing? What kind of feedback have they received, and from whom? In other words, what information about students' high school writing assignments and the ways in which they learned to write would be useful for an instructor teaching a first-year writing course? These and other questions about high school writing experiences were addressed in a beginning-of-course survey given to new students who were taking their first writing course at The George Washington University (GW). The authors discovered that their initial conception of an appropriate first-year writing course was on target, for there was a clear difference between the kinds of tasks asked of students in high school and those expected in their college-level writing assignments. This conclusion does not necessarily suggest that high schools should be teaching writing in a different way; rather, it shows that writing courses at the college level have different purposes and goals from high school writing courses and that students need instruction in increasingly complex tasks.
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A