Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Professional Journals on Writing 07

What is the typical experience of students in completing research papers? If anything characterized my elementary and secondary school years, I suppose, that was it. Go to the library and do a report on Lincoln! Oh, it wasn’t necessarily Lincoln. Sometimes it was Washington. Or Jefferson. Or my favorite, George Washington Carver. Whatever the report, the routine was the same. Go to the library. Find the World Book Encyclopedia. Look for the first letter of the last name of the man (generally it was a man) that you were studying. Grab the volume you need. Thumb through the pages. Find the entry you want. And then—copy. Word for word. Line for line. Period for period. After all, the assignment was to get it done—and quickly. Besides, for your final copy, you could change some words, add a quote or two, slap on a cover and hand it in. Sound familiar? That existed throughout my entire public school career. D Gallo. English Journal (Nov. 03), 91.

How help students understand plagiarism? Encourage students to ask questions about plagiarism. M Price. College Composition and Communication (Sept. 02), 105.

What should a query letter consist of? The purpose of a query letter is to see if editors are interested in publishing an article you have written or are writing. State the basic idea of your book or article in its briefest possible form—preferably in a single sentence. M Gunther. The Writer (Sept. 72, 15.

How write an article on a technique you use in teaching? Submitting techniques for publication in professional journals: Goals? Reason for using the technique? How introduce the technique? How involve students? What is the progression in implementing the technique? How encourage student reflection on the technique? How judge effectiveness of the technique? Changes in using the technique in the future? Classroom Notes Plus (Aug. 99). [RayS: This series of steps makes sense, but better read the journal in which the technique will be published. I have noticed some changes in format for brief articles on techniques, most notably the need to cite prior research related to the technique. To find that research go to http://www.eric.ed.gov/ ]

What is the meaning of revision? Lovitt (1975) noted that many writers consider revision as simply changing punctuation marks and misspellings. To move beyond this limited concept of proofreading, students must be taught specific steps to follow in revising their own written work. EA Polloway, et al. Focus on Exceptional Children. (Nov. 81), 6.

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