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Writing across the Curriculum
Anderson, Worth, Cynthia Best, Alycia Black, John Hurst, Brandt Miller, and Susan Miller. "Cross-Curricular Underlife: A Collaborative Report on Ways with Academic Words." CCC 41 (February 1990): 11–36.
Five students and their teacher observed language use in several courses, discovering how it differed from the freshman-composition image of academic discourse. Teachers and students did not seem to form discourse communities but maintained separate views of their roles and of appropriate language use. The writing course did prepare students to analyze and imitate writing in other courses, but its model of collaborative knowledge-making did not match the practice in other courses. Recording their motives for taking courses, enrollment and attendance, and types of writing assigned for each of sixteen courses, the students describe teachers', students', and their own uses of language for learning—or, rather, for succeeding in each class. There were few formal assignments; the audience approach taught in the writing course did help students decide what was called for in each class in all language interactions. Note taking was the writing skill most needed in all courses.
Anson, Chris M., John E. Schwiebert, and Michael M. Williamson. Writing across the Curriculum: An Annotated Bibliography. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1993.
A bibliography of 1067 items, with annotations of about 50 words each, in eleven categories. Part One, on scholarship, is subdivided into bibliographies, collections, history and implementation, research studies, and theory. Part Two, on pedagogy, is subdivided into general, arts and humanities, math and science, social science, business and economics, and textbooks.
Bazerman, Charles, and David R. Russell, eds. Landmark Essays on Writing across the Curriculum. Davis, Calif.: Hermagoras Press, 1994.
Thirteen essays on history, programs, pedagogy, and writing in disciplines include Bazerman and Russell, "The Rhetorical Tradition and Specialized Discourses"; David Russell, "American Origins of the Writing-across-the-Curriculum Movement"; Toby Fulwiler, "How Well Does Writing across the Curriculum Work?" ; James Kinneavy, "Writing across the Curriculum" ; Susan McLeod, "Writing across the Curriculum: The Second Stage, and Beyond"; Janet Emig, "Writing as a Mode of Learning" ; Charles Bazerman, "What Written Knowledge Does" ; and Greg Myers, "The Social Construction of Two Biologists' Proposals."
Blair, Catherine Pastore. "Only One of the Voices: Dialogic Writing across the Curriculum." CE 50 (April 1988): 383–89.
The social theory of knowledge that informs the Writing-across-the-Curriculum Movement suggests that each academic discipline has its own way of using language, which makes sense only in the disciplinary context. The discipline of English studies knows only its own discourse, not all the others, and not some generic academic discourse. There is, therefore, no reason to entrust all writing instruction to the English department. A better Writing-across-the-Curriculum program would be taught by professors from all disciplines, whose dialogues over the common writing curriculum would reveal the discursive properties of each discipline in contrast to the others. Composition specialists could serve as consultants to such programs. See Smith .
Fulwiler, Toby. "The Argument for Writing across the Curriculum." Writing across the Disciplines: Research into Practice. Ed. Art Young and Toby Fulwiler. Upper Montclair, N.J.: Boynton/Cook, 1986.
Three principles that underlie Writing across the Curriculum should be elaborated in faculty workshops: that composing is a complex intellectual process of making choices and making meaning; that writing is a mode of learning that calls for expressive as well as transactional composing; and that writing problems arise from a variety of sources, including attitude, skills, and knowledge. Two pedagogical issues are also at issue in workshops: making good assignments and evaluating or responding to student writing. Good assignment design includes setting up a context, allowing time for the composing process, varying the audience, and giving clear directions. Evaluation should, among other things, be positive and specific and focus on content.
Fulwiler, Toby. "How Well Does Writing across the Curriculum Work?" CE 46 (February 1984): 113–25. Rpt. in Writing across the Disciplines. Ed. Art Young and Toby Fulwiler. Upper Montclair, N.J.: Boynton/Cook, 1986.
The interdisciplinary writing workshops at Michigan Technological University introduced the idea that writing can promote learning in all areas. After six years, the program seems to have enjoyed uneven success. Problems have included misunderstanding of special terminology (chiefly "expressive writing"); resistance by suspicious faculty members; conflicts with some members of the English and philosophy departments about language theory; inability to apply the ideas generated in the workshops to some classes, especially large ones; distrust of the peer-review technique and lack of commitment to methods that require it; and lack of reinforcement by the administration. But benefits have included the growth of a community of scholars, a general sense that the program has helped improve students' ability to communicate, more writing by faculty members in the program, greater sensitivity to pedagogy, development of collaborative projects among participants in the program, and more cohesion in the writing department itself.
Fulwiler, Toby, and Art Young, eds. Language Connections: Writing and Reading across the Curriculum. Urbana, Ill.: NCTE, 1982.
Twelve essays describe the Writing-across-the-Curriculum program at Michigan Technological University. Essays include Toby Fulwiler, "The Personal Connection: Journal Writing across the Curriculum"; Toby Fulwiler and Robert Jones, "Assigning and Evaluating Transactional Writing"; Peter Schiff, "Responding to Writing: Peer Critiques, Teacher-Student Conferences, and Essay Evaluation"; Diana Freisinger and Jill Burkland, "Talking about Writing: The Role of the Writing Lab"; and Bruce Petersen, "A Select Bibliography" (annotated).
See: Ulric J. Gelinas, D. V. Rama, and Terrance M. Skelton, "Selection of Technical Communication Concepts for Integration into an Accounting Information Systems Course: A WAC Case Study" .
Griffin, C. Williams, ed. Teaching Writing in All Disciplines. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1982.
Ten essays on Writing-across-the-Curriculum programs, teaching writing in disciplines other than English, and teaching techniques for using writing as learning include Toby Fulwiler, "Writing: An Act of Cognition"; Barbara King, "Using Writing in the Mathematics Class: Theory and Practice"; Dean Drenk, "Teaching Finance Through Writing"; and Elaine P. Maimon, "Writing across the Curriculum: Past, Present, and Future" .
Herrington, Anne, and Charles Moran, eds. Writing, Teaching, and Learning in the Disciplines. New York: MLA, 1992.
Fourteen essays examine the history, theoretical coherence, and pedagogical practices of Writing across the Curriculum, including Nancy Martin, "Language across the Curriculum: Where It Began and What It Promises"; David Russell, "American Origins of the Writing-across-the-Curriculum Movement"; James Britton, "Theories of the Disciplines and a Learning Theory"; Charles Bazerman, "From Cultural Criticism to Disciplinary Participation: Living with Powerful Words"; Jacqueline Jones Royster, "From Practice to Theory: Writing across the Disciplines at Spelman College"; Toby Fulwiler, "Writing and Learning American Literature"; Joy Marsella, Thomas Hilgers, and Clemence McLaren, "How Students Handle Writing Assignments: A Study of Eighteen Responses in Six Disciplines"; Louise Dunlap, "Advocacy and Neutrality: A Contradiction in the Discourse of Urban Planners"; and Anne Herrington and Charles Moran, "Writing in the Disciplines: A Prospect."
Kinneavy, James L. "Writing across the Curriculum." ADE Bulletin 76 (Winter 1983): 14–21.
Writing across the Curriculum responds to concerns about declining literacy and reasserts the importance of rhetoric in the liberal arts curriculum. Writing across the Curriculum takes two forms: writing-intensive courses in all departments, and courses in writing for other disciplines offered by the English or writing department. In the first kind of program, the teacher is an expert in the discipline and knows its vocabulary and genres. Students can thus use highly technical language and discipline-specific forms of writing. But such programs reinforce disciplinary isolation and create a heavy burden of writing instruction for teachers untrained in composition. In the second kind of program, esoteric material, technical vocabulary, subtle methodology, and distinctiveness may be sacrificed, but with gains in writing expertise and an opportunity to open a large academic conversation and perhaps, ultimately, an educated public discourse. A well-designed program benefits from both approaches by offering different kinds of writing courses "vertically" throughout the college experience.
Kirscht, Judy, Rhonda Levine, and John Reiff. "Evolving Paradigms: WAC and the Rhetoric of Inquiry." CCC 45 (October 1994):
The WAC Movement continues to be divided between the writing-to-learn model—in which writing is seen as an integral part of the learning process in all disciplines—and the writing-in-the-disciplines model—which studies the discourse communities of the disciplines and brings that knowledge to the writing class. WAC proponents are deeply divided along these lines. The social-constructionist view of disciplines as rhetorically negotiated territory resolves the conflict by treating writing-to-learn as an inquiry into the ways that knowledge is produced in the disciplines. Disciplinary forms and conventions are not separated from the writing process but are presented as communally accepted ways of looking at a particular subject matter, forms that can then be analyzed to determine how they shape the knowledge they produce.
Maimon, Elaine P. "Maps and Genres: Exploring Connections in the Arts and Sciences." Composition and Literature: Bridging the Gap. Ed. Winifred Bryan Horner .
We need to know the forms and traditions of writing in all disciplines in order to fill in the largely uncharted territory we label "nonfiction prose" on our maps of the genres of writing. Trained in literary criticism, we are well suited to exploring the relation of discipline-specific genres to modes of thought in the discipline. Just as the lyric poet writes within and against the structure of his genre, so too the scientist works through the conventions, rituals, and assumptions of lab reports and other genres. Writing students should understand the concept of genre and practice several academic genres. The "modes of discourse" and "composing process" approaches may obscure questions of audience, purpose, and disciplinary method—questions that concern writing as it is used in the academic community—but these approaches can lead to writing that does enter the academic conversation.
Maimon, Elaine P. "Writing across the Curriculum: Past, Present, and Future." Teaching Writing in All Disciplines. Ed. C. Williams Griffin .
The development of Writing-across-the-Curriculum programs has been an effort to make writing an integral part of the learning process in all courses. This effort reinforced the shift in composition pedagogy from a product to a process orientation because the learning process and the writing process work together. Writing across the Curriculum has also promoted collaborative-learning techniques. Process pedagogy requires many drafts and much feedback, and small groups of students can provide each other with audience feedback that may be even more valuable than the teacher's responses. Writing-across-the-Curriculum programs are helping students find "an authentic voice in the community of educated people."
Martin, Nancy, ed. Writing across the Curriculum Pamphlets: A Selection from the Schools Council and London University Institute of Education Joint Project: Writing across the Curriculum. 1973, 1974, 1975. Rpt. Upper Montclair, N.J.: Boynton/Cook, 1983.
James Britton's colleagues, who worked with British schoolchildren of elementary- and high-school age, offer assignment suggestions
and samples of student writing. Included are Nancy Martin, Peter Medway, and Harold Smith, "From Information to Understanding: What Children Do with New Ideas"; Nancy Martin, Peter Medway, Harold Smith, and Pat D'Arcy, "Why Write?"; Peter Medway, "From Talking to Writing"; Pat D'Arcy, "Keeping Options Open: Writing in the Humanities"; and selections from Writing in Science (essays by Sue Watts and Jeff Shapland) and Language and Learning in the Humanities (essays by Bryan Newton, and Peter Medway and Ivor Goodson).
McLeod, Susan, and Margot Soven, eds. Writing across the Curriculum: A Guide to Developing Programs. Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage, 1992.
Twelve essays on the practical elements of setting up and developing WAC programs include Barbara Walvoord, "Getting Started"; Joyce Neff Magnetto and Barbara Stout, "Faculty Workshops"; Linda Peterson, "Writing across the Curriculum and/in the Freshman English Program"; Christine Farris and Raymond Smith, "Writing-
Intensive Courses: Tools for Curricular Change"; Christopher Thaiss, "WAC and General Education Courses"; Muriel Harris, "The Writing Center and Tutoring in WAC Programs"; and Tori Haring-Smith, "Changing Students' Attitudes: Writing Fellows Programs."
Reiss, Donna, Dickie Selfe, and Art Young, eds. Electronic Communication across the Curriculum. Urbana, Ill.: NCTE, 1998.
Three sections of essays—programs, partnerships, and classrooms Ñexplore the intersections of WAC theory and practice and electronic communication and present a number of strategies for approaching ECAC. Essays include Gail E. Hawisher and Michael A. Pemberton, "Writing across the Curriculum Encounters Asynchronous Learning Networks"; Mary E. Hocks and Daniele Bascelli, "Building a Writing-Intensive Multimedia Curriculum"; Stuart Selber and Bill Karis, "Composing Human-Computer Interfaces across the Curriculum in Engineering Schools"; Todd Taylor, "Teacher Training: A Blueprint for Action Using the World Wide Web"; Teresa M. Redd, "Accommodation and Resistance on (the Color) Line: Black Writers Meet White Artists on the Internet"; Margaret Portillo and Gail Summerskill Cummins, "Creativity, Collaboration, and Computers"; Paula Gillespie, "E-Journals: Writing to Learn in the Literature Classroom"; and Maryanne Felter and Daniel F. Schultz, "Network Discussions for Teaching Western Civilization."
See: David Russell, Writing in the Academic Disciplines, 1870–1990 .
Smagorinsky, Peter. "Constructing Meaning in the Disciplines: Reconceptualizing Writing across the Curriculum as Composing across the Curriculum." American Journal of Education 103 (February 1995): 160–84.
Writing is only one way to promote thinking across the curriculum; its appropriateness as a medium depends on several factors. Theories based on semiotics and multiple intelligences challenge the privileged status of writing for the development of thought. Instead of embracing writing as a unique mode of learning, "each discipline should endorse the notion that meaning construction is the goal of learning," with the medium dependent on the discipline's values as well as the participants' consensus in the transaction. The author's exploratory research on the production of nonwritten texts suggests that an exclusive focus on writing as a mode of learning limits students' abilities to develop conceptual knowledge. Nonwritten texts are also valuable in English classes, where students should be invited to compose and develop interpretations of literature from a variety of media.
Smith, Louise Z. "Why English Departments Should 'House' Writing across the Curriculum" CE 50 (April 1988): 390–95.
Catherine Blair's account  of Writing-across-the-Curriculum theory is correct. She errs, however, in asserting that English departments can know only their own discipline-specific discourse. Postmodern literary theory blurs disciplinary boundaries by analyzing the influence of canonical cultural artifacts on the supposedly value-neutral discourse of other academic disciplines and by denying the distinction between literary and nonliterary language. Thus, English departments contain many scholars, including composition specialists, who have expertise in examining the relationship between language and knowledge and how these relationships might be taught. The authoritative influence of compositionists may be necessary to prevent mere editing across the curriculum even as we learn about disciplinary discourses from novice writing teachers from other departments.
Walvoord, Barbara E. "The Future of WAC." College English 58.1 (January 1996): 58–79.
The twenty-fifth anniversary of Writing across the Curriculum provides an opportunity for long-range planning and for interpreting WAC's past—both of which can be done through examining WAC as a social movement organization. For example, the literature on "movements" highlights early choices made by WAC to focus on micro, rather than on macro, concerns; to choose strategies that depended on changing behavior by persuasion; and to make workshops the backbone of the movement. Now, WAC must refocus its attention on macro issues, most significantly, the need to work with other organizations and to become active in national debates about educational reform. WAC must also define its relationship to administrations, explore the implications of new technologies, and contribute to debates on assessment. As a mature reform organization, WAC must draw upon the power of community so evident in early workshops.
See: Vivian Zamel, "Strangers in Academia: The Experiences of Faculty and ESL Students across the Curriculum" .