Summarising and paraphrasing

UNIVERSITY AND HIGH SCHOOL ARE JUST VERY DIFFERENT 38 The English Language Arts framework of outcomes and standards, in the Western Canadian Protocol (1998), does not summarising and paraphrasing summarising and paraphrasing speak specifically to writing strategies but does mention the importance of accessing prior knowledge. This section stresses the need to analyze connections between personal experiences and prior knowledge in an effort to extend interpretation of text and to monitor understanding.

I suggest that the type of activities mentioned in the Western Canada Language Arts curriculum (1998) are not designed to prepare students for the type of critical writing that is required in first-year university courses. It is important to emphasize, however, that the stated goals of the Western Canada Protocol do not include the expectation that high school English Language Arts teachers will prepare high school students to write in first- year university. Students will write differently in history than they do in engineering or computer science courses.

Students who left high homework help research paper school believing that the difference between one subject and another lies in the content now have to contend with an environment in which the rules of writing and thinking change with every new classroom.

Students in first-year UNIVERSITY AND HIGH SCHOOL summarising and paraphrasing ARE JUST VERY DIFFERENT 39 university often find that they have to change the way that they write due to the different writing environment in which they find themselves. Carroll (2002) further discovered that first- year instructors expect students to already know how to write for situations they have not yet encountered, despite the fact that writing assignments in each course are governed by unique domain specific knowledge and vocabulary.

It is not unusual to find first-year students struggling to figure out summarising and paraphrasing what their instructors want in terms of academic writing (Strachan, 2002). McCarthy also observed that first-year students often feel that they have entered a world where no one speaks their language, and where they cannot understand what is expected of them. A significant problem for some students is the degree and complexity of coursework that is required in first- year university. Carroll (2002) observed that the type of writing expected in first-year university was different than the writing expected in high school. Her longitudinal study which essay writing service is the best followed the students from first-year through fourth year at one American university.

From the initial group of 46 students who signed up to participate, she ended up with a final sample of twenty students UNIVERSITY AND HIGH SCHOOL ARE JUST VERY DIFFERENT 40 in fourth year. Students left the study for various reasons: some dropped out of university, some left to study at a different university, and some decided that they did not have the time to devote to the study. In addition, students completed written self-assessments of successful and unsuccessful learning experiences after each semester and sat for a personal interview at the end of each semester.

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The authors hypothesize that the social component, in which there is an interaction between the members of a faculty and students, can impact student expectations. He believed that it was important to look at the characteristics of academic contexts and to see the ways in which they differ in expectations for students. He was surprised to discover that researchers had paid little attention to the organization of the academic environment, and that there was no agreement as to what constituted an academic environment. In order to measure student perceptions, he developed a 47 item questionnaire which he administered to second-year students in six university departments: social science, applied science, natural science, two arts departments, and the summarising and paraphrasing School of Independent Studies at Lancaster University. In addition, the questionnaire identified student perceptions that the learning environment in several academic departments made different demands on the way students learn. In follow-up interviews, Ramsden quoted one student whose response was representative. In addition, he found that the different departments appear to require contrasting approaches to learning from their students.

Students also reported that a supportive learning environment was necessary if they were to become fully engaged in the material. Ramsden identified a positive learning environment as one that takes into account the teaching, course organization, subject areas, and assessment methods. Becoming familiar with the university writing environment is complicated not only by the variety of discourses in which the students have to write, but also by the background knowledge that students bring with them from secondary school. Krause (2001) said: the complex task of becoming integrated into the university context is further complicated by the fact that coursework masters students bring to the learning situation a unique set of experiences and perceptions which, combined with contextual variables, impact on cognitive development and the quality of learning, (p. The authors speculate that students who are unable to adjust their expectations to the new forms of assessment and grading may drop out. First- year students often feel alienated in their large lecture classes and the tutorials where they only see their tutor once a week. It is for these reasons that first- year students have difficulty with their first major writing assignment (Krause, 2001).

In addition, first-year students are often unprepared for the multiple learning environments that they encounter in university. Surprisingly, the capacity to adjust to these differing environments is sometimes inversely correlated to the success students had experienced in high school. Haggis (2010) found that first-year students are often reluctant to change the way that they approach learning especially if they had been successful in learning in their high school environment.

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