What worked best as you sought to help students learn course content through writing?

After teaching this course with a W focus twice, I discovered that having students complete a reverse outline of an article and then summarize it in text encourages them to read the article more carefully, paying attention to style, content, and structure. Students then use this as a model to guide their own writing. Saethre, ANTH425, F12

Students are required to read, discuss, and summarize all of the weekly assigned readings. To help internalize the topics, students are required to write reaction papers for each week's topic and relate these subjects to their own personal knowledge and insights, including family and village experiences for heritage students. The writing of reaction papers enables students to develop writing styles representative of adult academic writing in the Samoan and English languages. Small group discussions enable students to incorporate shared experiences and additional insights into their re-writes. The use of written reaction papers rather than oral reports permits students to develop their thoughts and styles through several revisions and also lets them analyze the thoughts and styles of others in the class. Each student is also required to write a research paper. In this way, students further their academic writing and develop research skills and knowledge of the topic. Mayer, SAM452, F12.

What worked best as you sought to help students learn to be more effective writers?

I used a progressive approach which moves from closely examining articles assigned for class in order to understand how academics write, then to having students pen their own abstracts and research papers. In addition to examining examples of effective writing explicitly in class, I tell students that every assigned reading should also be thought of as a guide to writing. Saethre, ANTH425, F12.