Reading Guide For Mcclure

Reading Guide for Randall McClure “Examining the Presence of Advocacy and Commercial Websites in Research Essays of First-Year Composition Students.”
Use this guide to direct your reading. Answer the italicized questions and be ready to turn them in and discuss them in class.
I actually don’t think this is a great introduction. McClure spends a lot of time defining advocacy and arguing that the bias that comes with advocacy has proliferated on the web, blurring lines between good sources (NCTE website as a fund of good information) and unreliable sources (NCTE website sections that are really about advocacy and thus are biased). With this in mind, I’d begin reading on the middle of page 52. The rest of this section sets up the problem and the research questions that drives the paper. The introduction ends in a series of questions the paper will try to answer. After you’ve read the article, come back to these questions and see if you can answer them.
How much do your research papers rely on internet sources (google) rather than sources found through library database searches?

Review of current literature
Usually you can skip this section, but the findings all pertain to how students find and include sources in their research papers, so skim through it so you can answer the following question:
What do students struggle with in their research according to these studies? Do you struggle with these same things?

This section describes the study the author conducted. Skim to get a sense of what the study did.
Citing the Sources
This section looks at the bibliographies of student essays and notes how many came from online sources and then categorized these online sources.
The news isn’t all bad: for instance, what does the rise of pdf articles indicate to the researchers? Any other good news? What conclusions does McClure make based on the findings?

How would your 101 research paper have fared in this study?

Mining the essays
This section looks at the essays, examining how students use advocacy websites and commercial websites inside their essays. This is the most important section of the paper, so read it carefully.
What is wrong with the Dove paragraphs on page 63? On page 64, McClure gives possible reasons why students might not have discussed the bias of the advocacy or commercial sources they are citing – are any of these reasons plausible to you or do you agree with McClure that not recognizing the sources as biased is the most likely reason?

//On page 64, McClure sites Nicolas Carr’s theory that the internet is changing the way we read – are you a horizontal reader rather than a vertical reader when you are online (and what do these terms mean?).

How would your 101 research paper have fared in this part of the study?//

Surveying the participants
This section looks at how students and teachers feel about the classroom preparation they received in evaluating sources?
//Knowing how these same students will use sources in their papers (studied in parts I and II of the study), what is surprising about their answers?

Did you receive more or less training in EN 101 or in high school on how to evaluate the bias of sources?//

I also don’t think this is a great conclusion. But he does go through what he thinks might help students recognize the bias of sources.
What suggestions does he make?

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