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 11, January through December 2014
Issue 1 (January through June)
Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration: Fostering Professional Communication Skills in a Graduate Accounting Certificate Program, Allen Brizee and Joseph Langmead, Loyola University Maryland.
Scholars and working professionals have long known that accountants struggle with communication. Experts agree that integrating communication pedagogy into accounting courses is the most effective way of addressing this problem, but an integrated approach is not always possible. In this programmatic and pedagogical article, the authors address this issue by reporting on the developments of a professional communication course as part of a summer graduate accounting certificate program and the pilot phase of an assessment of student work.
The WAC Glossary Project: Facilitating Conversations Between Composition and WID Faculty in a Unified Writing Curriculum, Dennis J. Bohr and Georgia Rhoades, Appalachian State University.
The WAC Glossary Project at Appalachian State University enables Composition faculty to anticipate writing tasks for students in the disciplines and encourages WID faculty to refer to basic, familiar terms in new writing contexts. The authors discuss the creation and evolution of the project and its practical applications.
Effective Comments and Revisions in Student Writing from WAC Courses, Joel Wingard, Moravian College, and Angela Geosits, The Catholic University of America.
Although teacher commentary on student papers and students' revisions have been investigated separately, the relationship between commentary and revision has not been much studied. Drawing in multiple drafts of papers from first-year composition and writing-in-the-disciplines courses, the authors measure the extent and kind of revisions made by students after receiving feedback from their instructors and conclude that revisions—especially substantive revisions—correlate with comments that address substantive matters.
Issue 2 (July through December)
Extra-Disciplinary Writing in the Disciplines: Towards a Metageneric Pedagogy, Christopher Basgier, University of North Dakota.
Much of the foundational scholarship in writing across the curriculum and writing in the disciplines privileges pedagogies that introduce students to disciplinary writing. Recent scholarship, however, suggests that some faculty members do not want to teach disciplinary writing to their students, particularly in general education courses that cater to both majors and non-majors. Through an investigation of one such course, "Museum Appreciation," this article explores the ways that the concept of metagenre can help instructors in the disciplines, especially those teaching general education courses, integrate conflicting motives across disciplinary and extra-disciplinary writing assignments by emphasizing their common ways of building and shaping knowledge.
Volunteer Expert Readers for STEM Student Writer, Cary Moskovitz, Duke University.
This paper reports results from a three-year study of a novel approach to providing undergraduates with feedback on STEM writing assignments via an otherwise untapped educational resource: university alumni and employees who normally play no role in the institution's educational mission. In the Volunteer Expert Reader (VER) approach, students are paired with volunteers whose backgrounds make them suitable readers for specific writing assignments. Given the realities of labor in STEM undergraduate teaching contexts, VER may be particularly valuable there, facilitating student interactions with experienced STEM professionals who have the time and inclination to give them substantive feedback on their writing based on real-world experience.
Instructor Feedback in Upper-Division Biology Courses: Moving from Spelling and Syntax to Scientific Discourse, Erika Amethyst Szymanski, Washington State University.
This analysis of instructor comments on assignments written for upper-division courses in the biological sciences reveals that most faculty focus comments on lower-order surface issues. The analysis shows that faculty whose comments place a greater emphasis on scientific discourse and other higher-order concerns typically assign genres that closely mimic professional writing in the field. Based on interviews with some of the faculty in this latter group, the author finds that these faculty envision student writing as apprentice-professional work and suggests that encouraging faculty to see writing assignments in this way may improve their feedback practices.
Academic Integrity, Remix Culture, Globalization: A Canadian Case Study of Student and Faculty Perceptions of Plagiarism, Tyler Evans-Tokaryk, University of Toronto Mississauga.
This article presents the results of a case study at a Canadian university that used a combination of surveys and focus groups to explore faculty members' and students' perceptions of plagiarism. The research suggests that the globalization of education and remix culture have contributed to competing and contradictory understandings of plagiarism in contemporary western academic culture. The article argues that universities need to revisit their definitions of plagiarism and adjust their policies accordingly.
Issue 3 (Special Issue. WAC/WID Program Administration at Rural, Regional, and Satellite Campuses
Rural, regional, and/or satellite college and university campuses face shrinking budgets alongside increasing demands to educate and prepare students for twenty-first century technologies and workplaces. Scholarship focused on the work of rural WAC/WID programs in the twenty-first century is especially important in light of the Obama administration's recent appropriation of $182 million in federal stimulus money to expand high-speed Internet networks in underprivileged rural communities. This special issue focuses on the role of the WPA or other faculty members charged with professional development in modernizing/digitizing the composition faculty and instructors in writing-intensive and writing across the curriculum programs at rural institutions, and this issue explores the timely opportunity to address the gap in research and scholarship on the rural WPA in the twenty-first century.
Guest editors: Heidi Harris and Jessie Blackburn, Appalachia State University