“Researched Writing”

Last week, we read and discussed “Researched Writing” by Rebecca Moore Howard and Sandra Jamieson. This article discussed how the research paper may no longer be the best method to teach research skills. Instead, research projects or portfolio could be used in writing classes to teach the skills on a step-by-step basis. As I read this, I was reminded how integral one-on-one instruction can be especially when teaching material as complicated and individualized as research. I then started to wonder if Universities with MLIS programs could work to engage their graduate students as “research mentors” for entry level composition classes. These “mentors” could then be available to meet with students on a one-on-one basis and walk them through the research process based on the professor’s instruction. While reference librarians can fill this role, freshmen seem hesitant to engage with librarians. The graduate student may be viewed more as a peer as well reducing the intimidation. The mentor could lead the student through early stages of research based on the professor’s assignments then refer the student to reference librarians for finding their own sources and higher level research projects.

One thought on ““Researched Writing”

  1. This is definitely an interesting approach. I am actually working on a proposal to see if I can match juniors and seniors with first-year students as research peer-mentors through The University of Alabama’s new QEP: Learning in Action. Regardless of how mentors are identified and trained, I definitely think the idea is solid because you’re right! First-year students are often anxious about coming directly to a librarian for help, even after they meet with us for instruction.

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