Librarians doing bibliographic instruction in college settings will most likely find little in this study out of the citation project that they didn’t already know from first-hand experience, but it is very good to see it as a research finding:
ATLANTA — An analysis of research papers written in first-year composition courses at 15 colleges reveals that many students simply copy chunks of text from the sources they cite without truly grasping the underlying argument, quality or context.
“The findings are not happy news for how writing is taught,” Rebecca Moore Howard, an associate professor of writing and rhetoric at Syracuse University, said here Thursday at the annual meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication. “[Students] are not selecting authoritative, meaningful sources and not reading them carefully. They are not, in a word, engaging.”