The impact of training students how to write introductions for academic essays: An exploratory, longitudinal study

Gavin Thomas Lumsden BROWN, Jennifer C. MARSHALL

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Successful academic writing requires strong command of the rhetorical moves that orient the reader to the theme and substantive material of an academic essay. Effective control of the introduction leads to better overall writing. The goal of this study was to devise and evaluate a pedagogy for teaching the writing of academic essay introductions. The study employed a pre-, post-, and delayed post-test design in a single university student learning site. Student writing was scored on eight aspects related to (1) structure and content and (2) style. Confirmatory factor analysis reduced the eight scores aggregated into the two scales. A single two-hour workshop increased the participants’ (n = 87) performance in the rhetorical structure and content of their introductions, but not the style. A longitudinal model (n = 20) using three sets of parcelled scores showed that the structure and content of the introduction positively predicted the grade awarded by the student’s faculty. Direct instruction in writing introductions, through a relatively short, low-cost, genre-based training programme, appears to achieve significant student learning. Copyright © 2012 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-670
JournalAssessment & Evaluation in Higher Education
Volume37
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012

Citation

Brown, G. T. L., & Marshall, J. C. (2012). The impact of training students how to write introductions for academic essays: An exploratory, longitudinal study. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 37(6), 653-670.

Keywords

  • Academic essays
  • Rhetorical structure
  • Training effects
  • Structural equation model longitudinal analysis

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