R&C GSIs in all courses see many of the same kinds of errors. Here are several GSIs’ ideas for addressing them.
GSIs sometimes see student papers that are dense with linguistic errors or lack basic rhetorical structures. Here are some effective ways to address the problems while also protecting your time.
Four important ways you can help students increase their mastery as writers.
by Shelly Steward, Sociology
To make theory a way of seeing and understanding the world, [students] needed to be reminded of it outside of lectures, sections, and assignments. How could I insert sociological ideas into students’ everyday lives beyond the classroom? My strategy to address this problem was to create a course Twitter account.
by Tammy Stark, Linguistics
As a solution to the related problems of limited time and a lack of incentive to carry out scholarly research on final papers, I decided to make the final project a Wikipedia assignment, in which students worked in groups to significantly improve Wikipedia pages related to sociolinguistic topics relevant to their independent research interests…
by Kathryn Fleishman, English
Challenged with independent critical thinking and absorbed in a network of ideas that reached out of our classroom and into their everyday lives, my students developed the willingness to risk an argument along with a strong grasp of the research process. … [S]tudents polished the opinions they had proffered as tweets and comments into solid theses for their individual research projects, transforming uncertain, visceral reactions into logical, distinctive arguments.
by Laurence Coderre, East Asian Languages and Cultures
My…students were having difficulty understanding how to approach literary texts beyond the simple recapitulation of plot. Focusing on what a given reading said, they rarely considered the significance of how it was conveyed….Ming dynasty xiao pin wen, or “short personal essays,” in which authors write in great detail about frivolous or mundane things, offered me an opportunity to address this concept, and students’ difficulties in grappling with it, head on.
by Margot Szarke, French
Many students feel challenged when asked to analyze a literary or cinematic work because there is a certain amount of intellectual freedom involved in the task… How can a text or film be successfully and meaningfully interpreted in multiple ways? How can references and textual details be used to effectively build up an argument?
by Wendy Xin, English
How, I wondered, might one instill an understanding of composition useful to engineering, political science, history, biology, literature, and math majors alike, when the nature of assigned readings across disciplines varied so widely? And how would the class find pleasure in engaging metacritically with the concept of narrative at 8 a.m., a time when most of us aren’t even used to experiencing narrative?
by Jennifer Johnson, Linguistics (Home Department: Education)
I needed to develop in-class peer review and self review activities that assist students in exploring, understanding, and contesting feedback. … How do I help students develop metacognitive skills — in other words, reflect on their reflections?