Writing from sources: reading article

Reading Guide for Howardet. al. “Writing from Sources.”

Use guide as you read. Answer the questions.Answer the italicized questions.

The introduction does what many introductions of academic articles do – talk about the importance of the issue and argue that it hasn’t been studied enough (thus the need for the article!). This particular introduction also includes a short “literature review,” which quickly summarizes other studies on the topic. Literature reviews are usually skipable. In this case, read the first three paragraphs in the section and the last paragraph in the section (skipping the lit review).
What issue does the introduction introduce as important and why is it important according to the authors? The introduction ends with a list of questions the authors are asking (also a common strategy in academic essays). Which question is most interesting to you?

The “Our Inquiry” section describes the study the authors conducted.
Define summary, paraphrasing, patchwriting, and copying.

The findings section looks at what they found. The paragraph on beginning of page186 brings up an issue we will discuss at length
Look at each of the 7 findings on page 182. Would your last 101 essay (or any other writing from sources college paper) have been in the yes category for 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7? Which of these findings surprise you? What are the problems with the students’ use of sources as illustrated on pages 184 and 185? Do you read/understand the sources you use in your college essays, or do you primarily mine them for quotes?

In the discussion section, the writers interpret these findings, highlighting their consequences.
What are the dangers for students writing from sentences rather than sources? What might be the cause of why students patchwrite, according to the authors? Why don’t the authors believe that patchwriting should be considered plagiarism?

The conclusion basically calls for more study particularly into the reasons that might explain these findings .This is a common move in academic writing.
In the first paragraph of the conclusion, the authors speculate on why students work exclusively from sentences. Which of the two possibilities offered do you find most likely?


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