2.1 Learning Goals

Nancy Ami; Natalie Boldt; Sara Humphreys; Jemma Llewellyn; and Erin Kelly


You will learn how to summarize, paraphrase and quote effectively.

Summary writing is a key skill used consistently in academic writing. We can’t think of a day when we haven’t had to summarize information of some kind. You will be consistently tasked with summarizing major concepts, articles, projects and then asked to respond. Of course, paraphrasing and quoting what others say is part and parcel of academic writing: all three skills involve condensing others’ work and representing it faithfully. All three are found in the majority of academic writing projects and assignments.

You will develop reading and writing strategies to comprehend challenging texts.

One of the ways to build effective reading and writing skills is to learn about genre. As readers, we have certain expectations of the documents we read. For example, when you read an essay, you expect an introduction and, usually, a thesis statement followed by supporting arguments. In an email, you expect some elements of a business letter, such as an opening salutation. When you understand the norms or conventions inherent to certain genres, you can not only write to those expectations but also be aware of your own expectations as a reader.

You will be prepared for writing in courses across the curriculum.

Readers have expectations for writing, and writers can better understand those expectations if they learn what they are. Genres map out expectations for each act of communication you perform. This is exciting because once you understand how genre conventions work for one major type of communication, you can apply those rules or conventions everywhere. It’s like learning to drive: you learn the rules of the road, which means you can pretty much drive anywhere in the world. If you learn the “rules of the road” or “academic conventions,” then you can “drive” or write across disciplines.



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Why Write? A Guide for Students in Canada Copyright © 2020 by Nancy Ami; Natalie Boldt; Sara Humphreys; Jemma Llewellyn; and Erin Kelly is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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