Why first-year college students select online research resources as their favorite

  • James P. Purdy Duquesne University
Keywords: digital research practices, online research resources, student research practices, research motivations, student rationales, Internet research, research-writing, Google, research-writing pedagogy

Abstract

This paper reports results of a preliminary study on why first-year college students select certain online research resources as their favorite. Results, based on a survey of over 500 U.S. college students in first-year writing classes, offer a more complex picture of student motivation than popular accounts of these students as disinterested, lazy, and ignorant. Students reported most frequently that they favored resources for reasons of ease, quality, and connectivity. They reported least frequently that they favored resources for reasons of relevance, variety, and speed. These results suggest that students value finding scholarly sources above relevant sources.

Author Biography

James P. Purdy, Duquesne University
James P. Purdy, Ph.D. is assistant professor of English/writing studies and director of the University Writing Center at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, USA. His research and teaching interests include digital research and writing practices, Web 2.0 technologies (particularly digital archives and plagiarism detection services), and composition and writing center theory. He has published articles in scholarly journals, including College Composition and Communication, Computers and Composition, The Journal of Literacy and Technology, Kairos, Pedagogy, and Profession, and chapters in edited collections, including The New Work of Composing, RAW (Reading and Writing) New Media, and Writing Spaces. With co-author Joyce R. Walker, he won the 2011 Ellen Nold Award for the Best Article in Computers and Composition Studies and the 2008 Kairos Best Webtext Award.
Published
2012-08-16
How to Cite
Purdy, J. P. (2012). Why first-year college students select online research resources as their favorite. First Monday. https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v0i0.4088