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 14, January through December 2017
Issue 2 (July through December)
Student Voices on Writing, Maria Hegbloom,
Laura R. Ramsey,
Nicole J. Glen,
Polina D. Sabinin,
Deborah R. Litvin, and
Elizabeth Veisz, Bridgewater State University
This study sought to understand how our students viewed themselves as writers, particularly in relation to their self-identified best piece of college writing. Our study was conducted with 104 undergraduate students at a medium-sized public university. Students responded to a survey asking open-ended questions about their best paper in college. Responses were analyzed to identify four broad themes: paper attributes, reflections on the process, actions taken by students, and actions taken by professor. The results led us to an examination of which pedagogical practices by faculty members enabled students to feel like they had achieved their best piece of writing. We conclude with a description of how faculty members across the disciplines can attend to both the cognitive and affective domains of writing to best help their students achieve good writing.
Comparing Student and Instructor Perspectives on Writing:
Empirical Results from the Social Work Discipline, Christopher D. Kilgore and Courtney Cronley, University of Texas at Arlington
Studies examining student writing challenges often fail to consider how instructors' perspectives align with students' perspectives. The present study is designed to help improve writing instruction and support by analyzing comparative data on student and instructor perceptions of writing assignments and process activities within one social-work department. Results indicate that students and instructors differ in how they label and understand primary writing genres, creating potential challenges for successful instruction, and that they also differ in how they use or recommend writing process activities. By recommending outside support resources rather than integrating writing into in-class activities, instructors may be unintentionally inhibiting students' writing abilities by encouraging a grade-driven instrumental attitude toward writing. Further interdisciplinary writing instruction and resources and enhanced instructor preparation may help improve how effectively students enact primary social work genres.
Faculty Beliefs in Successful Writing Fellow Partnerships: How Do Faculty Understand Teaching, Learning, and Writing?, Michelle E. Neely, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Faculty hold beliefs about students, how they learn, the nature of knowledge, and academic tasks like reading and writing. These beliefs may be difficult to access (Fives & Buehl, 2014) and change (Richardson, 1996), and there may be inconsistencies with regard to triangulating espoused beliefs with actual teaching practices (Hora, 2014). Given the challenges of identifying and changing faculty beliefs, this study explores faculty work with writing fellows as a means to make beliefs about teaching, learning, and writing explicit. Findings suggest that faculty beliefs informed and were informed by their work with the writing fellows.
A review of The Forgotten Tribe: Scientists as Writers, Lisa Emerson, 2016. Fort Collins, CO: The WAC Clearinghouse [ISBN 978-16-07326-44-1 https://wac.colostate.edu/books/emerson/tribe.pdf. 243 pages, including index (eBook).] Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado, [ISBN 978-1607326434. 243 pages, including index (softcover).]
A book review by by Justin Nicholes, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Published September 5, 2017)
A Review of Conceding Composition: A Crooked History of Composition's Institutional Fortunes, Ryan Skinnell, 2016. Logan, UT: Utah State UP. [ISBN 978-1-60732-504-8. 188 pages, including index (soft cover)].
A book review by Melissa Nicolas, University of California, Merced (Published September 5, 2017)
A Review of Composition in the Age of Austerity, Nancy Welch and Tony Scott, 2016. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press. [ISBN 978-1-60732-444-7. 235 pages, including index. $27.95 USD (soft cover).]
A book review by by Leslie R. Anglesey, University of Nevada, Reno (Published September 5, 2017)
Issue 1 (January through June)
One-Credit Writing-Intensive Courses in the Disciplines: Results from a Study of Four Departments, Thomas Deans, University of Connecticut
This study reports on learning outcomes of one-credit writing-intensive (W) courses in the disciplines at a large public university where three-credit W courses are the norm. An evaluation of 210 final papers from four departments—Allied Health, Animal Science, Economics, and Nutritional Sciences—revealed that writing outcomes, as defined and measured by faculty and doctoral students the four participating departments, met expectations for junior/senior-level writing in their respective fields. Results suggest that well-designed one-credit Ws are viable, albeit with two significant qualifications: student motivation and performance are better when one-credit Ws are tightly aligned with a companion 2- or 3-credit course (as opposed to when they stand alone); and one-credit Ws can unintentionally trigger troubling labor issues.
A Review of Microhistories of Composition, Bruce McComiskey, 2016. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press, [ISBN 978-1-60732-404-1. 336 pages. (soft cover).]
A book review by Cheri Lemieux Spiegel, Northern Virginia Community College (Published May 1, 2017)
A Review of Ecologies of Writing Programs: Program Profiles in Context, Mary Jo Reiff, Anis Bawarshi, Michelle Ballif, and Christian Weisser, 2015. Anderson, SC: Parlor Press, [ISBN 978-1-60235-512-5. 406 pages, including index. (hardcover).]
A book review by Marissa C. McKinley, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (Published March 29, 2017)
Calls for Special Issues
From the Margins to the Centre: The Future of University Literacy Support and Writing Across the Curriculum in Australia and New Zealan (Proposals due October 1, 2017)
As a result of evolving pedagogical practice, employer feedback, and institutional reforms, student literacy for all students in Australasia (not just international students) is now a priority. Australian and New Zealand universities are shifting the way they conceive, articulate, and approach the development of student communication skills, reading, writing, and literacy within the disciplines and across the curriculum. With a greater focus on graduate outcomes, widening participation, and preparing students for rapid entry into the information economy, ever mindful of disciplinary distinctions and congruencies, universities are now reconsidering what literacy development means across the curriculum for graduate employability, global citizenship, and life-long learning. We seek papers from a range of perspectives and methodological approaches (e.g. research based, theoretical, historically informed, empirical, conceptual, comparative) addressing student development of literacy, communication, and writing. (Guest edited by Susan Thomas, University of Sydney, Karen Vered, Flinders University, and Stephen Johnson, Murdoch University)
Teaching Contemplative Writing Across the Disciplines (Proposals due April 30, 2017)
With increasing evidence that contemplative practices in the college classroom can improve cognitive and academic performance, student concentration and the retention of information, as well as psychological well-being and the development of the whole person, faculty across a wide array of academic disciplines are using contemplative practices to enhance student learning and experience. Authors from all disciplines are encouraged to submit proposals for manuscripts that address mindful or contemplative writing practices in teaching within higher education, particularly as they relate to disciplinary discourses, interdisciplinary communication, and student learning. We welcome proposals for theoretical pieces, practical and experiential narrative essays that are tied to theory and/or research, case studies, creative works, and qualitative research. (Guest edited by Marlowe Miller, University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Kakali Bhattacharya, Kansas State 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (912) 478-1383.