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A Student’s Guide to Academic Writing assists college and university students as they learn to write an academic essay in a new writing environment. Placing an emphasis on decision making and problem solving, the authors teach students to identify the writing purpose, the audience, and the decisions they need to make to both fulfill the writing purpose and satisfy the intended audience. This unique approach empowers students by teaching them the skills necessary to make effective decisions about their own writing and thus become more effective writers.
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Michael O’Brien Moran has been teaching at the University of Manitoba since 1987. He has taught literature, composition, and transition year programs, and for the past four years has conducted research into both the strategies writers use to organize text and the strategies novice writers use in unfamiliar writing situations. In addition, with Karen Soiferman, he has undertaken a number of research projects to investigate the ways in which first-year college and university students approach writing assignments.
Karen Soiferman teaches in the Faculty of Education at both the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg. Her background is in Language and Literacy Education, particularly the ways in which first-year students learn to write an academic essay. During the research for her PhD, she gathered students’ perceptions of their high school writing environment and compared them to the same students’ perceptions of the university writing environment. She and her colleague Michael O’Brien Moran have also completed numerous studies on first-year writing in an effort to discover why students experience difficulty in learning to write an academic essay. As a writing instructor teaching first-year students, Karen is interested in taking the prior knowledge that students bring with them and using it as the foundation on which to build a program for writing instruction.Review:
“A Student’s Guide to Academic Writing invites students to be accountable for the decisions they make in the writing process from conception to revision by teaching students practical strategies for anticipating and assessing the consequences of their decisions.”
--Steve Bennett, University of Waterloo
“A Student’s Guide to Academic Writing offers the perfect balance between the need for an innovative conceptual and analytical pedagogical approach to the teaching and learning of writing and research and the necessity of delivering this content in a thoughtful, engaging, and practical manner....[It] is a well-organized, inquiry-based, developmental handbook that focuses on helping students develop their ideas, writing and researching skills in order to produce effective argumentative essays.”
--Kent Walker, Brock University
“The reflective questions are excellent; these will be very useful for students in developing meta-cognition and awareness of writing as a process.”
--Joanne Valin, Nipissing University
“I like this feature [Peer Review exercises] very much—nice hands-on application tool. I would assign as in-class and take-home exercises.”
--Aurelea Mahood, Capilano University
“It is appropriate for first year students who are being asked to write in an academic voice for the first time. It is very thorough in demystifying some of the expectations of academic writing.”
“It has a sophisticated view of the writing process in terms of decision making, and is good showing the differences between how novice writers think and write compared to more experienced writers.”
“The authors have worked at key moments to unbutton the formal and often dense academic-ese of the style and subject matter by, respectively, using verb contractions and a bit of a chatty style, and drawing useful analogies to familiar life situations to explain conceptual points.”
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