Friday, April 13, 2012

Analytic Thinking and Writing


Question: What do students do when they write analytic papers?

Answer: Evidence in this research suggests that students when writing analytic papers are actually using or summarizing the analysis of others (the teacher or expert), rather than completing their own analysis.

Comment: Makes sense. Students are actually listening to, absorbing, and summarizing  the analysis of others, teachers and “experts,” whom they have heard or read. They are not themselves actually analyzing. Why not? Isn’t that what most Americans do? How to correct this situation? Give them a set of facts and have them analyze and interpret those facts? Have students analyze other people’s analysis and reasoning? Using other people’s analysis and reasoning is a hard habit to break. RayS.

Title: “Cognitive and Linguistic Demands of Analytic Writing." Russel K Durst. Research in the Teaching of English (December 1987), 347-376.

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