Evaluating and Imitating Scholarly Writing

In her graduate methods class, Rachel Gillett had her students develop their writing skills by using the course authors as models to imitate or avoid.  This class, SSCI E-100B, prepares students writing master's theses.  Throughout the semester, the class often discussed elements of their readings that they liked or did not.  On one occasion, Rachel had each student choose from a scholarly article one sentence that they thought was well-written.  Then, in class, the students shared their choice and explained why they liked it.  They then were prompted to write a similar sentence directly relevant to the essay they were working on.  On another occasion, the students did a similar activity with a sentence they disliked.  For this lesson, they did everything previously described except writing their own.