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Teaching Philosophy

Volume 37, Issue 4, December 2014

Kate Padgett Walsh, Anastasia Prokos, Sharon R. Bird
Pages 481-497
DOI: 10.5840/teachphil201410225

Building a Better Term Paper
Integrating Scaffolded Writing and Peer Review

This paper presents a method for teaching undergraduate students how to write better term papers in philosophy. The method integrates two key assignment components: scaffolding and peer review. We explain these components and how they can be effectively combined within a single term paper assignment. We then present the results of our multi-year research study on the integrated method. Professor observations, quantitative measures, and qualitative feedback indicate that student writing improves when philosophy term paper assignments are designed to generate multiple rounds of drafting and review.