What We Learned About Writing in 2018

Whether or not you are a fan of writing, it has been a part of the student experience for thousands of years. While the concept of writing in education is anything but new, each year there are dozens of studies and articles that alter the writing landscape. Emerging technologies in the classroom also have an impact on writing education and how teachers perform writing instruction. Here are 4 articles about writing from this past year that have shed new light on such a well-known facet of education.

“Understanding the extent of gender gap in citations”

by Rachael Pells, Times Higher Education

 In this fascinating article, the author explores new research into citation patterns of students. Researchers from McMaster University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Minnesota found that male academic writers cited work published by a woman 14% less often than female academic writers in six scholarly journals. According to the article, this study already prompted one academic journal to analyze the percentage of published female writers in its issues, and has created a heightened sense of awareness of equity in academic publications as a whole.

For general help with citations, EasyBib.com offers free resources like an MLA format generator for citations, a guide on APA format,  an MLA annotated bibliography example, and more!

“3rd –grade class writes Yelp reviews to sharpen opinion writing skills”

by Kelly McCarthy, ABC News

This article was a great example for how creativity can boost student interest in writing. A third-grade teacher in Boston challenged her students to write a Yelp review for a local restaurant of their choice. By explaining the nuances of opinion writing in terms students at that grade level could easily understand, the teacher saw dramatic improvements in engagement in her writing curriculum. Students were excited to have their work published online, and local restaurant owners loved reading the honest and somewhat comical reviews of their establishments.

“How essay-writing factories reel in vulnerable students”

by Daphne Taras, The Chronicle of Higher Education

Exploring the world of online paper writing services, the author—a professor—describes how much pressure is put on students to succeed and meet deadlines. Pressure which can drive students to use websites that may lead them on the path to plagiarism. Taras tested the results of a “paper writing service” by pretending to be a student, buying a paper from them, and then sent it to colleagues and asked their opinion on what grade it should receive. While some of their fellow academics were suspicious, they did not think that the “student” committed plagiarism, when in fact the paper was never even written by a student at all!

“Wikipedia’s top-cited scholarly articles – revealed”

by Giorgia Guglielmi, Nature.com

Sources that are cited in academic papers can tell educators and researchers a lot about what interests students. Based on data described in this article, it is clear that subjects such as DNA research and asteroids are popular topics among academics. One publication on human and mouse DNA sequences had over 4,500 citations! It is interesting to read that topics in the sciences seem to be the most often cited scholarly articles.


Writing well just got easier! With EasyBib Plus features you can check any paper for grammar, use the plagiarism tool to spot text that might need to be cited, and gain access to Chicago style format and thousands of other citation styles. There are also free grammar guides on verbs, nouns, determiners, and other parts of speech.

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About the Author

Elise Barbeau

Elise Barbeau is the Citation Specialist at Chegg. She has worked in digital marketing, libraries, and publishing. She graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor’s degree in History/Art History, and earned her Master’s degree in Public History/Library Science from St. John’s University. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, running, and cheering on the Yankees/Islanders/Jets. She lives and works in New York.