A Critical Review of "Helping Students Meet the Challenges of Academic Writing", by Fernsten, Linda A.; Reda, Mary
The authors make a plausible attempt to propose a psychological strategy that education professionals can use to encourage students, and overcome the challenges of academic writing. This paper will be focused on summarizing, critiquing, and interpreting the proposed concepts in my personal perspectives. This should allow the reader to evaluate the article’s credibility and reliability.
The article seems to be intended for an audience that involves higher-level educators, teacher candidates, and graduate students from varied disciplines. The article represents both the facts and the opinions. The content of the article seems to belong to more of a psychological approach in way that directs the readers’ mentality with “a positive spin”. “A positive spin” to the impression of “bad writers”.
The article begins with subjective examples of what a “problem” is when it comes to challenges faced by students. The examples portray students having excuses for not being able to write. The writers successfully identify the underlying issues. I personally thought the examples were unnecessary as the point was clear enough. The central arguments focus around providing the impression of “basic writers”, and introduction of classroom activities and exercises. As the authors claim that these are what so called “Reflective practices” (Fernsten and Reda 171). The latter part of the central arguments emphasize on the multidisciplinary application of the presented strategy. Conclusion does seem to conclude and cover essential points from the evidences provided.
The researchers’ purpose in writing the article is to encourage the use of pedagogical practices among the community of educators to help students to write academically in a more of an efficient manner. All of the provided arguments from previous research and the provided pedagogical approach clearly support and defend the thesis. The article begins with a set of subjective examples that underlie the issue. The issue that is portrayed here is the struggle that students face about academic writing. The authors’ strong choice of phrases such as “born without the writing gene”, “writing phobic”, “can’t write”, clearly convey the message. In accordance to the writers’ opinion, students’ mentality is forced to believe that they are “bad writers”(171). This mind set is influenced by factors that are psychological and sociocultural. I believe and am convinced that this negative mindset affects students’ academic performance, and force them to lag and plagiarize on writing assignments. The scholars claim that this issue is not limited to the field of English composition but extends to other disciplines. The researchers of the article have very well portrayed the core issue of struggling students with academic writing.
The intellectuals of the paper claim that reflective writing...