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In fact, the majority of the students (12 of 14) in the study noted on a number of occasions that there was only so much their university instructors could do to help them and that they were the ones who needed to take charge of their respective learning paths. They noted, for example, that it is difficult to impress upon first-year students the importance of attending class when students know that no one is taking attendance. In many ways, the students were far more sympathetic to the lack of direct involvement on the part of university instructors than they were to familiarity of the high school teachers. On the other hand, the students (1 1 of 14) consistently reported frustration with the absence of clear indicators of expectations for writing assignments from university instructors. In short, they wanted instructors to tell them, with some degree of exactitude, what they need to do to get a good mark. In general, the seven students who felt their instructors were not providing clear direction were also the students who reported that they were not achieving the high marks they were used to getting in high school. Students (5 of 14) who scientific paper writing services were satisfied with the instructor directions were generally performing well in their courses. There is no research that has attempted to look at both environments in the same study. Comparing the perceptions of high school students and then following the same students to first-year university and obtaining their perceptions of university writing has led to insights that could not be obtained by focusing on only one environment to the exclusion of the other. In addition, students who enter university often have difficulties learning how to write an academic essay and this study illuminates what some of those difficulties are and perhaps provides some information that high school instructors might find useful in their own practices.
Limitations of the Study One of the limitations of this study was that the surveys were filled out only by those students who took the time to get their parents to sign the permission forms, or students who were already 18 years of age and could sign their own permission forms. The fact that the students had to remember to take the permission forms to their parents for signatures limited the number of students who ultimately participated. Another limitation was that the students volunteered to take part in either the focus groups or individual interviews. This led to a self-selected group of students who were interested in sharing their perceptions of high school and first-year university writing environments. This study also relied on information from the students who had self-identified as going on to study at a selected Western Canadian University. The fact that I limited it to these students meant that many students were not eligible to fill in the survey and that they could not participate in either the focus groups or the individual interviews. UNIVERSITY AND HIGH SCHOOL ARE JUST VERY DIFFERENT 237 The questions that were asked on the survey did not always align with the themes that emerged in scientific paper writing services the qualitative interviews.
Similarly, as per qualitative research methodology, I did not approach the focus groups and individual interviews with a set of questions already formulated but instead allowed the questions to emerge and change as the participants discussed their own perceptions. My own biases, as articulated in my personal stance, may have led me to search for certain themes in the qualitative interviews, but I believe these were minimized by using actual quotes from the participants to illustrate my findings and interpretations.
I also employed a second researcher to independently review my data to see if he came up with the same themes. In addition, in an effort, not to lead the students into commenting on areas that they did not broach on their own, I was reluctant to ask them specific questions. This is a limitation that, perhaps, I should have been more aware of during the individual interviews. In addition, because the university students in this study were, for the most part, University 1 students, the results could have been skewed. It would be beneficial to interview students from direct-entry programs (e. Follow-up interviews could be conducted to see if there is a difference in the perceptions of students attending different universities.
Another interview could also be conducted with the students in their second year of university to see how they were coping, and to see if they had a different perspective of the writing environment and of university in general. This could UNIVERSITY AND HIGH SCHOOL ARE JUST VERY DIFFERENT 239 be conducted with a large group of students to see the degree to which this attitude is prevalent. One that investigates in more depth the nature of the high school writing environment by exploring the kinds of writing tasks assigned to students, the approaches Language Arts and content area teachers take to teaching writing, the scaffolding they provide, the nature of feedback, and how students respond to the feedback. Implications for Program Development The students in the present study articulated clear differences between the respective writing environments of high school and first-year university. In many instances, the differences had to do with the need scientific paper writing services for students to become more independent and to take on more responsibility for their own learning. More scaffolding needs to take place in university if students are to successfully make the transition. Students would benefit from understanding the limitations of the UNIVERSITY AND HIGH SCHOOL ARE JUST VERY DIFFERENT five-paragraph essay. In first-year students are comfortable with the five-paragraph essay and therefore writing instructors may be better advised to explain to students how they can take what they know about pay for essay cheap the five-paragraph essay and adapt it to the new environment.