Center for Faculty Excellence

Building Skills

Source-based Writing: A Community Approach at Rivier University

Strategies for Students
  • Consider why sources are valued in writing—what job do they perform for you?
  • Consider your honor and worth as a person capable of thinking on your own, in conversation with sources.
  • Budget your time to make learning citation a manageable task.
  • Read LB Brief, your style handbook purchased in ENG 115, and review sections on Documentation.
  • Bring questionable sources to your teacher for clarification.
  • Ask to draft/revise citation errors based on instructor feedback.
  • Develop a long-term, working relationship with a teacher in regard to your writing, and seek his/her help.
  • Develop a long-term, working relationship with a particular tutor; seek tutorial assistance at the Writing Center.
  • See our Writing Center’s "Strategies for Responsible Writers." 
  • Seek help from a competent junior or senior, or an exemplary writer in your current course.
Strategies for Instructors
  • Adopt the writing handbook, LB Brief, purchased by students in ENG 115, and use it with students.
  • Conduct two 15-minute mini-lessons on integrating source quotations according to your discipline’s preferred citation system.
  • Make model essays available.
  • Give collaborative groups the opportunity to teach the rest of the class some dimension of source-based writing.
  • Discuss citation and source uses in light of your own professional identity and history—what have you learned? Why do you value the use of sources (academic dialogue; establishment of authority; act of persuasion, etc.).
  • Design “closed” assignments that specify particular source uses, and gradually “open” the field.
  • Think about source-based writing as a growing competency, and offer some controlled opportunities for such prose early in the semester.
  • Identify weak performers early on and conference/refer to the Writing Center; inquire if they’ve transferred into Rivier University (they may not have had ENG 115).
  • Review with students what you know they’ve learned in ENG 115, courses intensely focused on writing in response to readings: source-based assignments using MLA documentation.
  • Include a clear statement on plagiarism in your syllabus.
Strategies for Departments/Divisions
  • Decide the importance which source-based writing has in your program(s) and in what courses it should occur. Scan lower level courses with the realization that they must incorporate some source-based writing in order to prepare for upper-level competence.
  • Discuss the level and degree of source uses in various courses, at various levels. What are the standards for A work? What concrete features differentiate levels?
  • Conduct sampling assessments in such courses as a department—evaluate student success with source-based writing, and make any necessary modifications to curriculum and instruction.
Want to learn more about the history of citation and rhetorical approaches to its instruction?
  • Connors, Robert J. “The Rhetoric of Citation Systems-Part One: The Development of Annotation Structures from the Renaissance to 1900.” Review 17.1 (1998): 6-48.
  • “The Rhetoric of Citation Systems-Part Two: Competing Epistemic Values in Citation.” Rhetoric Review 17.2 (1999): 219-245.
  • Rose, Shirley K. "The Role of Scholarly Citations in Disciplinary Economies." Perspectives on Plagiarism and Intellectual Property in a World. Ed. Alice Roy and Lise Buranen. Albany, NY: SUNY P, 1999. 241-252.
  • "What's Love Got to do With It? Scholarly Citation Practices as Courtship Rituals." Language and Learning Across the Curriculum 1.3  (August 1996): 34-48.
  • Mcleod, Susan. "Responding to Plagiarism: The Role of the WPA." WPA: Writing Program Administration 16 (1992): 1-10.

Email CFEeFaculty PortalRegina Library