Engagement is a small word holding many meanings that all have to do with connections—connections between people, activities, and ideas. In an academic writing context, engagement involves a student connecting his/her ideas to those that have already been voiced.
Context—What is Engagement and Why Does it Matter?
Getting Tangled Up
In this article “What Is Student Engagement, Anyway?,” Linda Deneed defines engagement as a series of entanglements. Perhaps students should be encouraged to entangle their ideas with the greater academic conversations around them? http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/what-student-engagement-anyway
Joining the Scholarly Conversation
This overview from Colgate University Libraries explains how critical thinking is paramount when engaging in scholarly conversations. Considering others’ informed opinions about a particular issue and then responding to those opinions is a key to understanding. https://sites.google.com/a/colgate.edu/getting-started/doing-good-research/our-philosophy
Getting Started—Figuring Out Which Conversations are Credible
Differentiating Between Primary and Secondary Sources
Sometimes a writer may want to refer to a primary source that presents raw information, rather than a secondary source that interprets that information. This page from the Bowling Green State University Libraries explains how to tell the difference between the two. http://libguides.bgsu.edu/content.php?pid=20573&sid=145214
Evaluating Information—Applying the CRAAP Test
Meriam Library at California State University, Chico has created a clever set of questions which can be used to help students determine whether or not the information they have found is credible. This heuristic encourages students to evaluate a source’s currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose. http://www.csuchico.edu/lins/handouts/eval_websites.pdf
Remember Your ABCs!
The Bowling Green State University Libraries provide a short set of questions designed to aid students’ source evaluations. This heuristic asks students to critique a source’s accuracy, authority, bias, coverage, and currency. http://libguides.bgsu.edu/content.php?pid=47134&sid=2520040
Strategy—Writing Multiple Source Synthesis
Multiple Source Synthesis at Bowling Green State University—part one
This video presents the first part of Ann Westrick’s informal explanation of the type of multiple source synthesis required by the General Studies Writing program at Bowling Green State University. http://screenr.com/fIY8
Multiple Source Synthesis at Bowling Green State University—part two
This video presents the second part of Ann Westrick’s informal explanation of the type of multiple source synthesis required by the General Studies Writing program at Bowling Green State University. http://screenr.com/mTb8
What is Synthesis in Academic Writing?
James Sullivan explains why synthesizing credible sources with one’s own ideas helps give ideas credibility. He also gives students practical strategies for creating synthesis in their writing. http://www.findingdulcinea.com/features/edu/Strategies-for-Synthesis-Writing.html
Synthesizing Information: Step-by-Step Instructions
This explanation of how to craft multiple source synthesis from Arizona State University may be particularly useful for students who want to follow a straight-forward set of instructions while they figure out exactly what their own ideas are. http://www.west.asu.edu/johnso/synthesis/learners.html
Introduction to Syntheses
Michigan State University offers a differentiated explanation of explanatory synthesis and argument synthesis. While this handout was clearly designed for a specific MSU class (as evidenced by the grading scale which is included), the overall instruction applies to myriad assignments. https://www.msu.edu/~jdowell/135/Synthesis.html
Our apologies—this section is still under construction.