Help with essays assignments
I did maybe 15 minutes of homework a night and I was always caught up.
If you show up, then you are pretty much good to go. Even a lot of our teachers said that you are not going to fail high school if you come to every class. Ashley reported that, unlike other students in the study, her teachers did not allow students to re-write essays for credit: I never got the chance to re-write an essay or any form of writing, it was just like you get what you get, so suck it up, just take it. We got to write it three times and I found that really nice. And the teacher was amazing at giving you comments and telling you like switch the sentence and also she would spend her lunch hours helping students. Regarding the kinds of written feedback received from teachers, the quantitative and qualitative data appear to contradict one another. However, the qualitative data gathered both through the focus groups and the individual interviews provided a different view of teacher feedback.
Some students (8 of 20) reported that they valued teachers who took the time to give relevant written feedback designed to help students improve as writers.
Other students (12 of 20), however, found that the kinds of help with essays assignments feedback they received from their teachers were vague and irrelevant. In some cases, the students (10 of 20) felt that any feedback that could not be directly UNIVERSITY AND HIGH SCHOOL ARE JUST VERY DIFFERENT 169 applied to their specific essays was not useful, and, thus, felt that the teachers were not helping them to become better writers. It was also important to investigate whether the students perceived that the written feedback received from teachers pertained more to surface errors than to content. In this study, the students varied in their reports of the kinds of feedback they received. It appeared to be dependent on the individual teacher.
Similarly, Applebee (1984) observed that the kinds of comments he saw written on student papers also focussed on the surface correctness of the paper. UNIVERSITY AND HIGH SCHOOL ARE JUST VERY DIFFERENT 170 The Amount of Direction Given For Completing English Language Arts Assignments in High School One of the qualitative questions asked students if they felt that their English Language Arts teachers gave them enough direction in how to complete their assignments in English Language Arts in grades 10 - 12. The answers ranged from not a lot of direction to extensive direction. There was no quantitative survey question that dealt with the amount of teacher direction given to students. Applebee (1981) found that most high school teachers did not give specific directions to their students beyond reading the assignment to them and telling them the length of paper that they were obliged to write. Applebee was surprised by the specificity with which students could describe the form their writing was to take. He discovered that the shape of the product was made clear to the students down to the number of paragraphs that they had to write (e. Applebee further discovered that students were given the organizational structure but were often left wondering why they were writing the essay or how to write the essay.
Some teachers provided guidance, rubrics, and clear expectations, while other teachers provided no guidance, no rubrics, and help with essays assignments no clear indications of expectations. The lack of clear expectations was a source of frustration for students (7 of 20). They complained that some of their teachers did not explain to them the basis on which they received the marks they did on their assignments. They also expressed annoyance that some of their teachers used marking rubrics to grade assignments but did not provide the rubrics to students before they had to hand in their assignments. The following two responses are typical of the student perceptions concerning teacher direction and how it differed depending on the individual teacher. We can always go to him for help, he gives us straight answers, it is really help with essays assignments good usually. It just seemed that one teacher did not want to help you, where she was very free-spirited. Oh go and do your own thing and UNIVERSITY AND HIGH SCHOOL ARE JUST VERY DIFFERENT 173 then I will mark you wrong. Some teachers gave considerable direction and other teachers gave very little direction. Expectations of Writing in First-year University The last seven questions on the survey asked students to comment on their expectations of the writing protocols and writing instruction they would encounter when they entered the university. The questions asked students: (1) whether they thought writing in first-year university would be similar to high school (figure 4. First-year writing courses are the sites of important transitions for students, one of the courses in which students must wrestle with the differences between their existing procedural knowledge and the protocols of a new learning environment. According to Beaufort (2007) students are not always motivated to change their learning styles when they begin university and UNIVERSITY AND HIGH SCHOOL ARE JUST VERY DIFFERENT 174 as a result, they continue to use what worked for them in the past. As has been previously mentioned, students in a Survey of Early Leavers conducted at the University of Manitoba (2007), expressed confidence in their overall writing ability upon entering first-year university.