The Faculty Hour session this week was about teaching students how to integrate their own voice with that of their sources. At the end of the evening session, I asked the group what advice they thought I should share about this topic on this blog. We rapidly identified the theme of our conversation: students need something to hold onto as they learn new skills, so instructors need to give students handholds.
Such handholds can take a wide variety of formats. We talked about giving students assignment that provide a structure for the resulting writing. For example, students might be asked to write a legal brief following the standard structure of issues, facts, analysis, and conclusion. We talked about providing students with a good example and a bad example of the finished product for them to compare. We talked about providing students with clear criteria in a rubric.