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In terms of instruction, students were asked for their perceptions regarding the degree to which their English Language Arts teachers were invested in ensuring students improved as writers. In the present study, students were asked whether they felt their teachers were invested in ensuring they would be successful in learning to write. The positive responses to the questions of the degree of support students perceived to be coming from teachers, and the degree to which teachers encouraged students to seek help, may be related to the degree of confidence the students reported when can you write my paper for me asked if they felt confident writing a paper in their courses. Five of the twenty students interviewed in the present study reported that their teachers in the content areas did not provide much in the way of guidance with assignments. It was like you were supposed to know how to write essays. I wish he had given us some guidance on what he expected. Two of the students mentioned that their teachers assigned short answer style questions but only marked the content without commenting on the composition. Though some science teachers gave outlines of the way in which they wanted the labs written up, for the most part, once again, students were not UNIVERSITY AND HIGH SCHOOL ARE JUST VERY DIFFERENT 148 given any specific guidelines to follow.
In fact, teachers often did not grade the effectiveness of the writing itself unless they also happened to be English teachers who were teaching a content area course like history.
Langer and Applebee (1987) hypothesized that when students can see a clear purpose in the writing tasks (i.
The authors further state that can you write my paper for me the role of instructional scaffolding is to provide students UNIVERSITY AND HIGH SCHOOL ARE JUST VERY DIFFERENT 149 with appropriate models and strategies for addressing new problems. These models and strategies will, eventually, enable the students to do the tasks on their own. In this study, a similar theme emerged in the qualitative data concerning the use of outlines, models, and examples in class. These students reported that they found the writing aids extremely helpful.
It is worth noting, I think, that the examples the students gave with respect to outlines, models, and examples all pertained to the Grade 12 high school English exam. There was no way of discerning the number of times high school teachers made use of outlines, models, or examples in other ways. My teacher was always very helpful in telling us what was expected in the essay, and gave us essay guidelines of what we had to include in the essay. And I guess figure out the organization from there... The students expressed the view that the kinds of papers they would be expected to write in first-year university were going to be different than the ones they had been UNIVERSITY AND HIGH SCHOOL ARE JUST VERY DIFFERENT 151 writing in high school. It was their perception that their high school teachers had not done enough to prepare them for the kinds of writing they anticipated they would have to do in university.
They believed that essays in the content areas were marked for content with little or no consideration given to the quality of the writing. The students reported some confusion regarding the way in which essays were taught and graded in content courses. They wrote their essays for content courses the same way they wrote essays for Language Arts classes and did not understand why can you write my paper for me the writing products would be assessed differently. Perception of Writing Competence In Relation To Marks Received This question was added to the survey as a result of the pilot study focus group. They felt that they received high marks simply for submitting their assignments regardless of the time or effort they invested. Because the marks they received seemed arbitrary, the grading did not give them any indication of the ways in which they could improve their writing. The students in this study, who participated in the focus groups, and individual interviews, expressed concern that their high school grades were inflated and therefore had no bearing on the quality of the work they were producing.