Tuesday, May 10, 2005

"The Long Paper"

This week we are starting work on the final assignment for the course, the long paper. One of the most common questions students ask about the long paper is - How long is the long paper? The length of the paper is 7-12 pages. Another common question is about the structure. This can take several forms - literature review; research proposal; research report; critical essay; application/policy paper. Students often have a difficult time understanding the different types of papers and which type would be most appropriate for the topic they've chosen to write on. They are directed to two sources to help them visualize. One is links for the different types of papers located at the bottom of this blogsite. The other is the course textbook. In teaching this assignment, we are using the course textbook - Writing Up Research: Experiemental Research Report Writing for Students of English by Robert Weissberg and Suzanne Buker. The chapters we cover from the book are 2 - 9. The exercises we cover are as follows:

Chapter 2 - Introduction - Stages of the Introduction - pp. 22 - 23; Order of Content - p. 24; Order of Knowledge - pp. 26-27; Articles and Nouns - p. 28-33; Chapters 3 & 4 - Literature Review - Citation Types and Order of Citations - pp. 44-45; pp. 46-49; Verb Tense and Citations - pp. 50-53; pp. 55-57; Chapter 5 - Methods; Chapter 6 - Materials; Chapter 7 - Results; Chapter 8 - Discussion; Chapter 9 -Abstract

It's interesting that students don't seem to be interested in going through all the material in chapters, particularly if it doesn't directly relate to the type of long paper they are writing. To overcome this lack of motivation, students are divided into groups according to the type of paper they've chosen to write. In their groups, they are to work on exercises from the text that directly relate to the papers they're writing. (Unfortunately for the students who choose to write a research report, they are responsible for the material in chapters 2-9 in the book.)

15 comments:

scott redfern said...

Hi,
I teach science writing at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). I would like to use Writing Up Research but it seems to be out of print. Could you tell me how to get copies. I like the activities in the book. Could you recommend a similar book?
Thanks,
Scott Redfern
redfernscott@yahoo.com

ESL Composition Teacher said...

It has been reprinted, so you should be able to get it now. We are still using it in this course. Check with the publisher.

martha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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