Writing across the discipline

While many academic papers may share similar goals, however, each discipline has unique expectations and requirements for successful writing. For example, writing for a Philosophy course can be very different than writing for English, and writing for a science class can be completely different than writing for a humanities class.

Writing across the discipline

Two changes happened to motivate the need for college writing instruction. Firstly, as disciplines as divisions within academic studies and contemporary professions specialized, they developed their own specialized discourses.

Because these discourses were not merely the same as the everyday discourse of the upper classes, they had to be taught. Secondly, as college students became more diverse — first in terms of social background and, later, in terms of gender, race, and age — not all college students grew up speaking the accepted language of the academy.

Clearly, composition courses couldn't be about the content of the writing, because content was what the other disciplines taught.

Composition, therefore, writing across the discipline to be about the form the writing took and so "writing" was reduced to mechanics and style. Because of this reduced focus and because writing was addressed by composition, other disciplines assumed no responsibility writing across the discipline writing instruction; most students, then, were not taught to write in the context of their specialties.

As American education became increasingly skills-oriented following World War II — in part a reaction to the suffusion of universities with war veterans in need of job training, in part a result of modeling education after the efficiency of Fordian factory production — writing instruction was further reduced to a set of skills to be mastered.

Once correct that is, standard academic grammar, punctuation, spelling, and style were mastered — preferably before reaching the post-secondary level — there was no need for additional writing instruction save as remedial education.

This product-oriented, skills-focused paradigm of writing pedagogy began to change in the s with the popularization of James Britton and colleagues' expressivist school of composition, which said that students benefited from writing as a tool for self-expression and that focusing on technical correctness was damaging.

Janet Emig's article "Writing as a Mode of Learning," grounded in constructivist theories of educationsuggested that writing functioned as a unique and invaluable way for students to understand and integrate information.

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Simultaneously, widespread media attention around college students' apparently decreasing writing proficiency more a product of the changing demographics of college students than an overt shift in teaching provoked institutions of higher learning to reevaluate and increase the amount of writing required of students.

Carleton College and Beaver College began what were probably the first contemporary WAC programs in andrespectively, with faculty workshops and writing requirements shared across disciplines. WAC has also been part of the student-centered pedagogies movement student-centred learning seeking to replace teaching via one-way transmission of knowledge from teacher to student with more interactive strategies that enable students to interact with and participate in creating knowledge in the classroom.

Major theories[ edit ] WAC efforts are usually driven principally by one of two theories: Though both may be used together, one of the two theories generally guides any given writing assignment and, often, any given WAC course. Writing to learn[ edit ] Writing to learn is also occasionally referred to as the expressivist or cognitive mode of WAC.

Writing to learn assumes that being able to explain or express concepts in one's own words both builds and reflects understanding.

Because the goal of writing to learn exercises is learning rather than a finished writing product, instructors are discouraged from paying attention to grammar and surface mechanics.

The student himself or herself, not the teacher, is the audience. Common writing to learn exercises include reading responses, journals, free writingand multiple forms of collaborative writing.

writing across the discipline

Writing in the disciplines[ edit ] Writing in the disciplines is also occasionally referred to as the transactional or rhetorical mode of WAC. These writing standards include but are not limited to specialized vocabularies and particular genres. The different models for teaching WID classes are the following: WAC structure and implementation[ edit ] WAC may exist as a formal program housed in or attached to an English department, a formal program as a free-standing unit reporting directly to a dean or vice president, a program attached to an all-campus writing centeror an informal initiative in which faculty voluntarily participate.

The WAC director, at most universities, is a tenure-track professor. WAC workshops[ edit ] Workshops at which faculty from many disciplines meet to share ideas about and strategies around writing are a primary way in which WAC is enacted. Encouraging community amongst faculty interested in WAC [15] Allowing WAC faculty often, but not always from English or composition studies to share knowledge about writing to learn, writing process, providing student feedback, and other composition scholarship Providing a forum for open discussion about writing and teaching Giving faculty themselves an opportunity to experiment with different writing strategies including collaborative writing and peer-review and to experience something of how these strategies may feel for their students [16] A major complaint against the workshop model of WAC is that it can encourage the mindset that writing pedagogy is relatively simple and can be mastered in a few days, whereas using writing effectively in English or non-English classes is widely recognized as taking years of practice.

Courses carrying this designation typically meet university-wide criteria including a minimum number of pages or words students write over the semester or some other measure of writing frequencyopportunity for revision, and deriving a significant portion of the final grade from writing.

Writing-intensive courses also often have relatively small enrollment limits 15—35 students depending on institution and may require faculty to participate in WAC-related professional development activities.

Writing practice — as with any other skill, students' writing abilities will atrophy if they are left unpracticed; writing-intensive courses ensure that students continue to write after leaving first-year composition Writing to learn — contemporary composition theory holds that incorporating active writing promotes student engagement and, therefore, learning Professionalization — writing-intensive courses directed at upper-division major students provide an opportunity for students to learn the communication skills expected of professionals in their anticipated fields WAC in first-year composition[ edit ] While WAC is usually understood as distributing writing across the curriculum in courses outside of English departments, a WAC philosophy can also influence the structure of first-year composition courses.

Because first-year composition is often the only writing course students take, the composition of the class can shape students' understanding of what writing is.


Writing-Enriched Curriculum[ edit ] Writing-Enriched Curriculum or WEC is a movement that scholars have recently started to implement in composition programs across the U.

With its basic premise reflecting WAC's integration of writing throughout all student's courses, WEC aims to focus on faculty involvement in devising a writing program that is effective and relevant for students in their various fields [20].In her paper, Academic Writing Across the Disciplines, Olson details her findings and organizes the student writing products around a number of factors, including .

Writing across the curriculum (WAC) is a movement within contemporary composition studies that concerns itself with writing in classes outside of composition, literature, and other English courses. According to a comprehensive survey performed in –, approximately half of American institutes of higher learning have something that can.

Writing in the Discipline Criteria. Writing in the Discipline Criteria: Focus is on writing as a product.; Students learn to write in the manner of those practicing in their field of study, learning conventions of writing and the rationale behind them.

Welcome to ENGL , a collaborative, workshop-based course designed to prepare you for writing across the various genres and disciplines you will encounter over the course of your college career.

Across the Disciplines, a refereed journal devoted to language, learning, and academic writing, publishes articles relevant to writing and writing pedagogy in all their intellectual, political, social, and . Academic writing conventions change, depending on the discipline. Writing Across the Disciplines The humanities (also known as liberal arts) try to explain, debate, and .

East Carolina University - Writing Across the Curriculum - Writing in the Disciplines Resources