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Paraphrasing in Context Innovations in Research and Pedagogy. Casey Keck Zuzana Tomaš San Francisco State University University of Utah ckeck@sfsu.edu zuzana.tomas@yahoo.com. Why are new approaches needed?. Paraphrasing instruction is typically done in a decontextualized fashion.

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paraphrasing in context innovations in research and pedagogy

Paraphrasing in ContextInnovations in Research and Pedagogy

Casey Keck Zuzana Tomaš

San Francisco State University University of Utah

ckeck@sfsu.edu zuzana.tomas@yahoo.com

why are new approaches needed
Why are new approaches needed?
  • Paraphrasing instruction is typically done in a decontextualized fashion.
    • Example paraphrases are invented (i.e., they were not actually part of a larger academic text).
    • Example paraphrases are labeled as “good” or “unacceptable,” though there is no empirical basis for making such judgments.
why are new approaches needed3
Why are new approaches needed?

Students are rarely shown paraphrases in the context of actual writing assignments.

Teachers have a difficult time finding resources that discuss how and why writers paraphrase within specific genres or disciplines (Tomaš, to appear).

new approaches to research
New Approaches to Research
  • Text-based descriptions of the strategies students use when completing academic tasks (Campbell, 1990; Keck, 2006; Pecorari, 2003; Shi, 2004).
new approaches to research5
New Approaches to Research
  • Investigation of factors that help to explain student strategy use (Keck, 2007; Shi, 2006, 2010):
      • Cultural and educational background
      • Language proficiency
      • Nature of the writing task
      • Disciplinary practices
new approaches to research6
New Approaches to Research
  • Investigation of the cognitive and linguistic challenges students face when attempting to integrate source texts into their own writing (Tomaš, in preparation).
important research findings
Important Research Findings
  • Paraphrasing is a major academic writing strategy for university students (Campbell, 1990; Johns & Mayes, 1990; Keck, 2006; Pecorari, 2003; Shi, 2004).
      • L1 and L2 writers
      • Undergraduates and Graduates
important research findings8
Important Research Findings
  • Paraphrasing is a far more frequent strategy than exact copying (Keck, 2006).
  • Students often use 3 or more strategy types within a one-paragraph summary.
      • Near Copy
      • Minimal Revision
      • Moderate Revision
      • Substantial Revision
important research findings9
Important research findings
  • Cultural background is only one of several factors that help to explain student strategy use (Keck, 2007; Shi, in press).
  • Other important factors include:
    • Nature of the writing task
    • Educational experience
    • Disciplinary practices
important research findings10
Important research findings
  • In sum, much of this work has helped us to rethink how we describe (or define) paraphrasing, as well as how we address this skill in writing courses.
new approaches to pedagogy
New approaches to pedagogy
  • Addressing paraphrasing in the context of academic writing tasks
      • Why might we paraphrase when writing a summary? An article response? A research paper?
      • How can we draw upon our knowledge of the text, the assignment, and our discipline when making strategy choices?
new approaches to pedagogy12
New approaches to pedagogy
  • Complicating, rather than simplifying, the issue of plagiarism
      • What role does textual borrowing play in academic writing development? Can we identify “good” types of borrowing?
      • How do we distinguish effective borrowing from plagiarism? What criteria do we use to decide if a paraphrase is “acceptable” or not?
examples of new approaches
Examples of new approaches
  • Tardy, C. M. (2010). Writing for the world: Wikipedia as an introduction to academic writing. English Teaching FORUM.
  • Tomas, Z. (to appear). Paraphrase integration task: Increasing authenticity of practice in using academic sources. College Writer’s Toolkit.
  • Keck, C. (to appear). How do university students attempt to avoid plagiarism? Writing & Pedagogy, themed issue on Plagiarism and the Academy.
an example unit
An example unit

Focus

  • Paraphrasing in the context of summary

writing

Context

  • Composition for Multilingual Students
  • Second Year Composition (ENG 310)
  • San Francisco State University
summary unit components
Summary Unit Components
  • Diagnostic summary task
  • Reading strategy instruction
  • Writing strategy instruction
  • Group composing
  • Paraphrasing
  • Revision of original summary
  • Application to a new summary task
diagnostic summary task
Diagnostic summary task

45-minute summary task

Read 1,000 word text

Write a one-paragraph summary

Source texts

Newsweek editorial

“Where Have the Children Gone?”

Identifies problem, causes, and effects

reading strategies
Reading strategies

Re-reading(s) of the text

Group discussions of text structure and main ideas

Strategies

Dividing text into sections

Annotation

Graphic organizers

writing strategies
Writing strategies

Guided drafting

Examples of useful summary expressions

Strategies

Drafting main idea statements

Distinguishing main ideas from supporting details

Reporting verbs & transitions

group composing
Group composing

Putting all of the pieces together (main ideas, examples, reporting verbs, transitions)

Strategies

Thinking aloud

Making selection and integration decisions

paraphrasing
Paraphrasing

Paraphrase judgment task

Group composing, revisited

Strategies

Developing criteria for judging paraphrase acceptability and quality

Reflecting on the function of paraphrases in a summary

summary assignment
Summary Assignment

Revise original summary from diagnostic task

Apply strategies to a new summary task (new source text)

subsequent assignments
Subsequent Assignments

Summary & Response

Paraphrasing focus: restating a claim made by the author, with appropriate agreement/disagreement language

Synthesis of Multiple Sources

Paraphrasing focus: note-taking, reporting research findings, in-text citation and reference lists

culminating assignments
Culminating Assignments

Library research paper

Similar in format to Synthesis Paper, but students choose topic and sources.

In-class argumentative synthesis

Similar to Summary and Response, but students respond to and evaluate multiple texts written on the same topic.

interested in reading more
Interested in reading more?

Themed Issue of Writing & Pedagogy

Plagiarism in the Academy

Volume 2(2), 2010

To appear this summer

thank you

Thank You!!

Casey Keck Zuzana Tomaš

San Francisco State University University of Utah

ckeck@sfsu.edu zuzana.tomas@yahoo.com