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.
Rhetorical Reading and the Development of Disciplinary Literacy Across the High School Curriculum, James E. Warren, University of Texas at Arlington
Disciplinary literacy programs have the potential to raise reading achievement among high school students, but they put English Language Arts (ELA) teachers in a paradoxical position: on the one hand, ELA teachers are discouraged from teaching general reading strategies that fail to account for discipline-specific text features, but on the other hand, ELA teachers are discouraged from teaching the discourse conventions of math, science, history, and social studies because they lack the specialized knowledge of teachers in those subjects. This paper proposes that "rhetorical reading," a construct that sparked a flurry of CAC studies some twenty years ago but that never influenced high school instruction, could be the solution to this impasse.
Re-evaluating Directive Commentary in an Engineering Activity System, Martha Davis Patton and Summer Smith Taylor (1971-2011), University of Missouri, Columbia
This study examines the writing of 30 engineering students, faculty response, students' reading of the response, subsequent revision, and faculty evaluation to ask what factors contribute to constructive conversation about writing.
"At first I thought... but I don't know for sure": The Use of First Person Pronouns in the Academic Writing of Novices, Teresa Thonney, Columbia Basin College
This article describes a study of undergraduates' use of first person pronouns for courses in a range of disciplines.
Multimodal Rhetorics in the Disciplines: Available Means of Persuasion in an Undergraduate Architecture Studio, Elizabeth G. Allan, Oakland University
Recent initiatives in WAC/WID and CxC/CAC programs have emphasized the need to support multimodal composing in writing studies and in other academic disciplines. This ethnographic case study examines the academic multimodal composing practices of undergraduate students in the visually-based discipline of architecture. This article demonstrates how discipline-specific values shape the ways that verbal and non-verbal modes are combined to make persuasive multimodal arguments for expert and non-expert audiences.
Language and Relationship Building: Analyzing Discursive Spaces of Interdisciplinary Collaboration, Sandra Tarabochia, University of Oklahoma
Interdisciplinary collaboration is a cornerstone of WAC/WID efforts and integral to productive relationships between writing specialists and disciplinary content experts. Drawing on textual discourse analysis, this paper builds a deeper understanding of the discursive spaces through which interdisciplinary collaboration takes place. The analysis shows how linguistic and rhetorical properties of communication can enable interdisciplinary relationships in WAC/WID contexts by strategically bridging disciplinary differences, as well as constrain relationships by confounding participant roles and responsibilities. Mapping links between discourse, language, and social interaction allows writing specialists to critically examine our communicative strategies and their impact on the professional relationships they broker.
Despite widely circulated pronouncements of the death of racism in the U.S. following the election of President Barack Obama, politicians continue to appeal to race as a means of galvanizing their (predominantly white) bases, legislation across the States taps into deeply held racist beliefs and connects those beliefs with notions of citizenship and national identity, and efforts are underway nationwide to limit the ability of teachers and students to study the history of race and racism in the U.S. as well as the cultural and scholarly production of artists and intellectuals of color. This special issue helps meet a pressing need to continue and deepen a critical dialogue about race matters, particularly in classrooms that take up the pedagogical aims of synthesis, analysis, argumentation, persuasion and presentation, in short, the teaching of rhetoric and writing.
Guest editors: Frankie Condon, University of Waterloo, and Vershawn Ashanti Young, University of Kentucky
When faculty members are asked what they consider the single greatest problem they face in their classrooms on a daily basis, they almost always include reading as a key issue. Faculty comments reflect what could be described as the "don't, won't, can't" problem. That is, students don't read in the ways that faculty expect, and they won't unless faculty find ways to force or coerce reading compliance. Underlying these two significant aspects of the problem is a third, much bigger problem, which is that many students are not able read in the ways faculty would like. This situation is becoming increasingly serious in the face of ever larger amounts of material available in print and online that faculty expect students to read, comprehend, and critically assess. The most effective solution will require work on the part of both students and faculty, in all courses. The articles in this issue present useful findings and approaches that address the problem from both the student side and the faculty side.
Guest editor: Alice Horning, Oakland 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.