Hugh Robertson, teacher, long-standing IB Examiner and the author
Research Essay, The
English Essay and Research
and Communication Skills has now published a revised and expanded
edition of Student
Projects: An Introduction to Research and Communication Skills,
his invaluable guide to student assignments. It is a lively, user-friendly
manual that covers a wide variety of written and oral assignments, providing
clear, up-to-date explanations, tips, and strategies to help students
get the work done.
Robertson's genius is to demonstrate how each assignment is really
just a series of clearly identifiable steps that, when followed, leads
to the successful completion of the assignment. There are numerous illustrations
and exemplars. Lively, humorous cartoons help illustrate his points
which are explained in clear, direct language.
TOK students will find the following sections of the book particularly
useful when embarking on their TOK essays and oral presentations:
- Selecting the topic
- Narrowing the focus
- Preparatory reading
- Developing outlines
- The roles of the introduction and the conclusion
- Drafting the assignment
- Tips on style and language
- Revising and editing
- The three major documentation styles and how to both cite and list
- Using quotations
- Speaking tips for oral presentations
- Multi-media ideas for oral presentations
Students can use this book independently, but in many ways the manual
is also a useful teaching resource. For example:
- The various diagrams and checklists are useful teaching tools.
- Documentation styles are clearly explained and illustrated.
- The way to document online sources is right up-to-date.
- There is a glossary which clearly explains assignment prompts such
as "explain," "compare," or "evaluate.
- Plagiarism and the importance of citing sources are clearly explained.
Student Projects can be used effectively in conjunction with
Eileen Dombrowski's "Six Steps to Writing a Good TOK Essay: A Student
Guide" (Forum 44, November 2000). Both identify and explain
a step-by-step method. Where Dombrowski's guide is concerned specifically
with the unique challenges of the TOK essay topic list and the overall
purpose of TOK, Robertson's tips help in a general way by explaining
preparatory reading, the organization of information and ideas, and
methods of outlining, drafting and editing an essay.
Student Projects can be purchased from www.piperhill.ca
and costs US$9.00.