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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 technological complexity. Across the Disciplines shares the mission of the WAC Clearinghouse in making information about writing and writing instruction freely available to members of the CAC, WAC, and ECAC communities.

Table of Contents for Volume 13, January through December 2016

Issue 2 (July through December)

Featured Articles:

Writing-related Attitudes of L1 and L2 Students Who Receive Help from Writing Fellows, Mary Gallagher, The Universities at Shady Grove, Claudia Galindo, University of Maryland, College Park, and Sarah J. Shin, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

This study examines the writing-related attitudes of L1 and L2 students who receive individual discipline-based writing help from Writing Fellows. In comparison to L1 and monolingual English writers, L2 English and multilingual writers started the semester with more positive writing-related attitudes and were more likely to engage in constructive writing behaviors. In addition, while students from all language groups showed improvement in their writing-related attitudes over the semester, L2 and multilingual writers had significantly greater gains, even after controlling for their more efficacious start. These results suggest that, while Writing Fellows may benefit all students, the program may be particularly effective for L2 and multilingual writers.

Engaging Sources through Reading-Writing Connections Across the Disciplines, Ellen C. Carillo, University of Connecticut

This essay argues that what might otherwise be considered "plagiarism" in student writing is a symptom of the difficulties students encounter in their reading and writing, moments in which students' inabilities to critically assess, read, and respond to sources through the act of writing come to the surface. Expanding the context within which we discuss plagiarism by looking at how poor reading skills contribute to students' misuse of sources, this essay underscores the importance of focusing on reading-writing connections as a means to preparing students in all disciplines to engage more productively with sources. Ultimately, this essay details campus-wide, curricular, and pedagogical interventions that support this work.


A Review of The MLA Handbook, Eighth Edition, Modern Language Association of America, 2016. New York, NY: Modern Language Association of America. [ISBN 1603292624. 160 pages. $12.00 USD (soft cover).]

A book review by Thomas Polk, George Mason University (Published September 6, 2016)

Issue 1 (January through June)

Featured Articles:

Transfer and Dispositions in Writing Centers: A Cross-institutional Mixed-methods Study, Pam Bromley, Pomona College, Kara Northway, Kansas State University, and Eliana Schonberg, University of Denver; Duke University

Taking a dispositional view of transfer and applying Joanne Lobato's "actor-oriented transfer perspective," this quantitative and qualitative study analyzes student perceptions of writing center visits at three institutions and finds that, as a nonevaluative space where university students can develop metacognitive awareness across disciplines and over time, writing centers are a prime site to examine knowledge transfer. The findings of students' regular and successful transfer from writing center work point to productive outcomes, including greater self-efficacy and other dispositions supporting learning, not only for writing centers, but also for the classroom.

Multimodal Communication in the University: Surveying Faculty Across Disciplines, Gwendolynne Reid, North Carolina State University, Robin Snead, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Keon Pettiway, North Carolina State University, and Brent Simoneaux, North Carolina State University

While a strong case has been made for addressing multimodality in composition, the case has been less clear for WAC/WID and CxC programs and research. Studies of disciplinary communication have documented the use of multiple modes in a number of fields, but few engage directly with theories of multimodality or with multimodality in context of changes related to networked, digital media. This study presents a snapshot of multimodal communication practices and assignments across disciplines developed through a survey of faculty at a research-intensive public university.

Using Corpus-based Instruction to Explore Writing Variation Across the Disciplines: A Case History in a Graduate-level Technical Editing Course, Ryan K. Boettger, University of North Texas

Understanding the linguistic and rhetorical patterns of an academic discipline strengthens students' abilities to write in professional settings. Data-driven learning and corpus-linguistic methods can increase this understanding and should be considered valuable contributors to any writing curriculum. In this paper, I present a case history on integrating corpora in a graduate-level technical editing course to teach students about writing variation. Though this case history focuses on corpora in a technical editing course, the approaches I describe transfer to any course with a writing component as well as across grade levels and student proficiencies. I conclude by addressing the barriers associated with integrating corpus-based learning into the classroom.


A Review of Reconnecting Reading and Writing, Edited by Alice S. Horning and Elizabeth W. Kraemer, 2013. Anderson, SC: Parlor Press. [ISBN 978-1-60235-459-3. 325 pages, including index. $32.00 USD (soft cover).]

A book review by Nancy A. Benson, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (Published February 28, 2016)

Issue 3 (Special Issue: Teaching Assistants and Writing Across the Curriculum)

Although TAs have played an important role in WAC, published accounts have almost exclusively focused on the involvement and impact of faculty and undergraduate student writers. Much scholarship has examined TAs housed in English departments, composition programs, or writing programs where TAs primarily teach general education composition courses (Dobrin, 2005; Roen, Goggin, & Clary-Lemon, 2008; Bishop, 1990). However, there has been little scholarship on TAs who work with student writers in other disciplines, whether in writing-intensive or linked courses, and in different capacities such as graders, autonomous instructors or writing fellows who support faculty or other TAs. This special issue examines the role of TAs in the WAC movement. Although the authors report findings from their local contexts, they also provide readers with valuable takeaways, offering questions, methods, and insights that are potentially applicable to other contexts. The first article reports on TAs' understanding of their role as writing ambassadors within the CUNY WAC program that gives TAs a much richer professional experience than traditional TA appointments. The second article reports on a study of TA training that uses the citation study protocol to not only improve TAs' writing but also prepare them to teach research writing to undergraduates. The third article examines the different ways that TAs construct their own disciplinary identity and how this influences their pedagogical practices. In addition to exploring the role of TAs in WAC, this issue aims to contribute to the emerging field of writing pedagogy education and to secure a place for TAs in this field.

Guest editors: Andrea Williams, University of Toronto, and Tanya Rodrigue, Salem State University

Issue 4 (Special Issue: WAC and High-Impact Practices)

A central tenet of writing across the curriculum and in the disciplines is that the use of writing goes far beyond improvement of students' skills. Instead, writing is essential to learning and to the processes of development that higher education aims to foster. What might not be as clear to those of us in WAC and WID programs is how we map our the work on to these higher-level outcomes. In this issue of Across the Disciplines, contributors describe those maps in relation to the Association of American Colleges & Universities research on High-Impact Practices. Contributors describe research, theory, and practices from first-year seminar to capstone courses, from specific WI courses in a range of disciplines to the impact of WI and core curricula more generally, from residential learning communities to undergraduate research and presentation opportunities. Overall, these contributions build our understanding of writing programs' roles in promoting High-Impact Practices and place the student experience where it belongs: at the center of a vision for the future of higher education.

Guest editors: Beth Boquet, Fairfield University, and Neal Lerner, Northeastern University

Note: If you would like to serve as guest editor for a special issue, or if you would like to suggest a topic for a special issue, please contact Michael Pemberton, editor, at michaelp@georgiasouthern.edu or (912) 478-1383.