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Best Practices of UM Faculty

Periodically, we will add under this link examples of the ways in which faculty at the University of Maryland have successfully incorporated writing into their teaching practices.  We will begin soon with submissions from Campus Writing Board members, but we encourage you to share your own practices by emailing us:


One of the most challenging writing tasks researchers in all disciplines face is the literature review. Professor Wayne Slater has provided an example of the assignment sheet he uses in his EDCI 467 course Teaching Writing. Here is the opening paragraph. Open the PDF to learn more.

What is a review of the literature? A literature review is an account of what has been published on a topic by respected scholars and researchers. In writing the literature review, your purpose is to convey to your reader what knowledge and ideas have been established on a topic, and what their strengths and weaknesses are. As a piece of writing, the literature review must be defined by a guiding concept (e.g., your research objective, the problem or issue you are discussing, or your thesis). It is not just a descriptive list of the material available or a set of summaries.

Janet Chernela is Professor of Anthropology and Latin American Studies. Professor Chernela describes below how she reinforces the importance of attribution in writing. She asks students to consider how they know what they know and to think about the reliability and the unique perspectives of the information they receive and upon which they create their own knowledge.
In teaching "Language as Practice" (ANTH 468I) I draw students' attention to the ways they register or fail to register the bases for the information they report and the information they receive.  This exercise is part of a larger discussion of knowledge and the ways in which different languages value and communicate sources of received information.  In about a quarter of the world's languages, for example, the sources of statements are encoded grammatically; in these languages it is necessary to communicate the source of all information with each utterance.  In English it is not grammatically necessary to provide the sources of information, but it may be accomplished through purposeful actions, such as the addition of adverbial clauses. 
To see more please open the following PDF:   KNOWLEDGE AND RESPONSIBILITY.pdf