Tuesday, November 30, 2004

The art of abstracts

My seminar students have written probably their most boring posts (boring for them, not for the reader), developing their skills in synthesizing and condensing articles into 250-word abstracts. I think this is a necessary skill, as it forces them to think about the overview of the article, seeing the forest as well as the trees. The assignment was to pick two articles on music education or music pedagogy, and to compose a short abstract for each article. You may find the topics interesting enough to read the entire articles at your local music library.

The students still need to work on the language, getting the right balance of formality and elegance. Any specific suggestions would be welcomed. Their final project is to rewrite 3-4 of their posts for a portfolio, so they are quite interested in any pointers for improvement.

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