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Can Mapping Improve the Quality of Critical Thinking in Essay Writing in an Introductory Level, Core Curriculum Class?

Author(s): Leonard Shedletsky (University of Southern Maine, USA)
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 17
EISBN13: 9781466664029


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This study began with the question: Can mapping improve the quality of critical thinking in essay writing in an introductory level, core curriculum class? Two sections of the course, Introduction to Communication, were compared, without mapping and with mapping. Dependent measures were: (1) the word count for summarizing the critical incident to be analyzed; (2) the number of concepts/theories employed to analyze the critical incident; (3) the number of times a connection was made between the analytical concepts/theories and the critical incident; (4) the number of words used in summarizing the essay as a whole; and (5) the total number of words in the essay. In addition, the data were analyzed for practice since there were three attempts at essay writing. Practice at writing the paper had an especial effect on writing and mapping had an especial effect on laying out the problem and applying analytical concepts to it.

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