Draw Me a Map vs. Paint Me a Picture: Helping students know when to write about process and when to write about findings

Sara Stoudt (Bucknell University), Deb Nolan (University of California, Berkeley)


A data investigation does not end with the quantitative output; it ends when the relevant question has been answered and explained to the interested readers. If a reader is someone who will act on the answer to that question, they are likely most interested in the findings and the implications of those findings in context, not each step in the analysis. An effective communicator would focus on telling the reader *what* they found. If a reader is another researcher,  evaluating the claims, as in peer review, or thinking about building off of the work, then they may actually be just as interested in the process as the findings. An effective communicator would include information about the investigation *process*. This session will explain and model classroom activities that explicitly focus on these two styles of writing separately to help students recognize the setting and writing strategies for each.