Monthly Archives: December 2016

Things Scholars Know

Here are some things that students should learn while at university:

  • what a “seminal” article is
  • what a review article is
  • what peer-review involves
  • how to find scholarly work on a particular subject (hint: use the library)
  • how to check the truth of a factual claim
  • how to cite other writers
  • what a paragraph is (and how to write one)

If you are a university student and you don’t know some of these things, I encourage you to start learning them. If you are a university teacher and suspect that many of your students don’t understand these things, I encourage you to devote your next class to introducing them to them.

There is, literally, no level of university education where complete ignorance about these things is acceptable or understandable.  (Obviously, if you are a university teacher and don’t know these things, then it’s time you did.) There will of course be degrees of mastery and understanding. I’m saying that students should be developing these competences from day one. And their incompetence on any given day should therefore be graded accordingly.