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Use of Microthemes to Increase Writing Content for Introductory Science Laboratory

    Authors: Michelle L. Lewis1, Sibyl R. Bucheli1, Aaron M. Lynne1,*
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biological Sciences, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77341
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Published 03 May 2012
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Box 2116, Department of Biological Sciences, Sam Houston State University, 1900 Ave I, Huntsville, TX 77341. Phone: 936-294-1544. Fax: 936-294-3940. E-mail: aaronlynne@shsu.edu.
    • Copyright © 2012 American Society for Microbiology
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2012 vol. 13 no. 1 74-77. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v13i1.366
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    Abstract:

    Writing is a learning activity, as well as a communication skill. Many instructors recognize the value of writing as a learning tool but struggle to develop effective writing assignments. Instructors are generally pressed for time during lecture due to the necessity to deliver content and, therefore, cannot dedicate time necessary to teach science writing skills effectively. Traditional term papers assigned to a class with varying writing skills may not accomplish the desired goal of teaching both technical writing skills and critical thinking skills. Students that are already struggling with content may be at a disadvantage in terms of conveying complex ideas. An answer to this problem is the microtheme paper which we employ in an Introductory Botany laboratory setting.

Key Concept Ranking

Leaves
0.6322479
Bean
0.5268025
Adaptation
0.51231325
Microscopes
0.42297238
Gases
0.40833336
0.6322479

References & Citations

1. Bean JC, Drenk D, Lee FD 1982 Microtheme strategies for developing cognitive skills Griffin CW New directions for teaching and learning: teaching writing in all disciplines Jossey-Bass San Francisco, CA 10.1002/tl.37219821205 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tl.37219821205
2. Evert RF, Eichhorn SE, Perry JB 2005 Laboratory topics in botany: to accompany Raven, Evert, Eichhorn: Biology of plants 7th ed. W. H. Freeman and Company New York, NY
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/content/journal/jmbe/10.1128/jmbe.v13i1.366
2012-05-03
2017-05-27

Abstract:

Writing is a learning activity, as well as a communication skill. Many instructors recognize the value of writing as a learning tool but struggle to develop effective writing assignments. Instructors are generally pressed for time during lecture due to the necessity to deliver content and, therefore, cannot dedicate time necessary to teach science writing skills effectively. Traditional term papers assigned to a class with varying writing skills may not accomplish the desired goal of teaching both technical writing skills and critical thinking skills. Students that are already struggling with content may be at a disadvantage in terms of conveying complex ideas. An answer to this problem is the microtheme paper which we employ in an Introductory Botany laboratory setting.

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Figures

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FIGURE 1

Handout provided to students with instructions.

Adapted from ( 2 ), as used by Sam Houston State University.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2012 vol. 13 no. 1 74-77. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v13i1.366
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Image of FIGURE 2

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FIGURE 2

Microtheme 1 given at end of laboratory session and to be completed in class.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2012 vol. 13 no. 1 74-77. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v13i1.366
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FIGURE 3

Microtheme 2 given at end of laboratory session and to be completed as homework.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2012 vol. 13 no. 1 74-77. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v13i1.366
Download as Powerpoint
Image of FIGURE 4

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FIGURE 4

Grading rubric provided to students.

Adapted from ( 1 ).

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. May 2012 vol. 13 no. 1 74-77. doi:10.1128/jmbe.v13i1.366
Download as Powerpoint

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