Discussion – Ballard & Clanchy Reading
• What is Ballard & Clanchy’s thesis or central argument?
“The need exists for a more encompassing theory, for an explanation that pays due regard to the complexity of the phenomenon and that enables us to account a more systematic way for the apparently infinite variety of student ‘illiteracy’” (Ballard & Clanchy 1988, 7). In other words, students need to learn what is expected of them with regards to using correct language in their field of study or discipline, and of university culture, such language, beliefs and values.
• How is literacy defined by the authors?
Literacy, according to Ballard and Clanchy is the student’s ability to effectively write an essay, for example, using the correct directives such as argue this or critically discuss that, so that a tutor may critique according to their criteria and particular discipline (1988, 8).
• How do the authors define culture in their article?
Culture is defined by rules or understandings at the university. The authors explain that a university culture “shapes the entire process of writing” (1988, 8) by how students form their assessments in relation to the task they are given and how they use their literacy and reasoning skills to do said task.
When students do not acknowledge the culture, they run the risk of poor marks because they have not followed the rules.
• What are sub-cultural rules?
Ballard and Clanchy purport that sub-cultural rules include knowing “the domain of the subject… the mode of analysis… the disciplinary dialect” (1988, 14), but above all students must be aware that every discipline has its own rules and they must use them in the correct context.
• Why do you think students perform well in one discipline and not in another?
I believe, after reading this article that students who do not do well in one discipline may not understand the rules or may be applying another discipline’s rules and not acknowledging the correct culture.
To do well a student may need to learn not just the unit’s content, but also the style of writing, referencing and language used according to that discipline.
Discussion – Collusion and Collaboration
Why is collusion harmful and collaboration beneficial in university study?
Just seconding JB’s motion, collusion occurs when student may be studying together and one takes advantage of the other and hands in work that is not original; in most universities this would be grounds of expulsion for both or all students involved. Collaboration, on the other hand is a meeting and discussion of ideas, but with students handing in unique work with their own references, essay structure, language and ideas. This is sharing ideas and resources and more beneficial because everyone gains a new perspective.
Discussion – Plagiarism
Plagiarism is an issue which is taken very seriously by all universities as academic integrity is highly valued.
What is plagiarism?
“Plagiarism constitutes using the work of another without indicating by referencing (and by quotation marks when exact phrases or passages are borrowed) that the ideas expressed are not one’s own.”
Again JB has nailed it on the head. I just wanted to add that it may not be a students fault; it may simply be that they have not read the Academic Integrity web page provided by the university.
If anyone is interested here is the link
Especially at the undergraduate level, why do students have to support each claim they make in an essay with a scholarly reference? Can you express your personal opinion or assessment in an essay if it is not backed up by a scholarly reference?
Students need to support their opinions or claims with references because it gives their arguments more weight and credibility while acknowledging the work of the original writer.
If you need to back up each claim you make in an essay with a reference, is it still possible to demonstrate original thought?
I believe so, as long as the work being referenced is kept to a minimum and the ideas used are in the students own words. In-text citing and referencing should be done correctly as well.