Posted by: codecalla | May 4, 2015

Academic Writing

As a composition professor, some of the problems that I face include helping students understand just how to formulate clear ideas using evidence and facts to support the points they are trying to communicate. It is not merely throwing words at a page and hoping they will stick. Unfortunately, sometimes the students want to communicate a message that is clearly targeted toward a specific group of people and does not use academic standards within the essay. Religious studies are an important part of divinities studies and the humanities– history, sociology, psychology, among others. It can be a struggle to honor a student’s religious beliefs, but train them to write for an academic audience. Religious works may not be appropriate depending upon how they are used in the essay. Sometimes, attempts to raise awareness of its difficulty and appropriateness are viewed suspiciously. Academic writing requires careful attention to detail, support, evidence and citation.

How can we support their beliefs, but train them to be more aware of the academic standards and audience? For a world that is filled with many people of many faiths, tolerance should be fostered. Students must learn to widen their horizons, as they also widen those of their classmates and instructors. It is sometimes difficult to explain academic practices for those who wish to speak without listening. Communication requires participation. We need more listeners. It is disheartening when communication fails. We should work together to try to communicate, each listening to the messages received. When someone has a specific message, they start ignoring the context of the situation.

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