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 8, January through December 2011
Issue 1 (January through June)
Reflections on Across the Disciplines.
Michael Pemberton reflects on changes to ATD for 2011. (Published March 15, 2011)
Proofs and Persuasion: A Cross-Disciplinary Analysis of Math Students' Writing, Patrick Bahls, Amy Mecklenburg-Faenger, Meg Scott-Copses, and Chris Warnick.
This article offers an initial analysis of the rhetorical devices used by mathematics undergraduates as they begin to write research articles in their discipline and identifies both convergences and divergences writing in the disciplines of mathematics and composition and rhetoric. (Published June 27, 2011)
"It's a Shame to Put Such Wonderful Thoughts in Such Poor Language": A Chemist's Perspective on Writing in the Discipline, Roland P. Stout.
Written from the perspective of a chemist, this paper presents a process for developing and using writing assignments as thinking and learning tools. The examples are taken from a wide range of chemistry courses and include both learning objectives and evaluation methods. (Published June 27, 2011)
From Concept to Application: Student Narratives of Problem-solving as a Basis for Writing Assignments in Science Classes, Jennifer Rich, Daisy Miller, and Lisa DeTora.
This study utilizes a speak-aloud protocol to examine the use of writing to encourage metacognition in math and science. The authors identify three distinct cognitive processes at work as students talk through their approaches to answering math and science questions and suggest approaches to encourage metacognition through writing in science classes. (Published June 27, 2011)
Writing from Experience: The Evolving Roles of Personal Writing in a Writing in the Disciplines Program, Katherine K. Gottschalk.
How did an expressivist course, "Writing from Experience," come to spend 29 years in Cornell's WID First-Year Writing Seminar Program? The answer provides an example of the forces that propel or impede curricular change and of how personal and disciplinary approaches can come to work together effectively in a WID program. (Published March 15, 2011)
Writing Across Languages, Disciplines, and Sources: Second Language Writers in Jordan, Anne-Marie Pedersen.
This article examines how World English speakers negotiate the complex landscape of global Englishes and argues that these writers often rely on a complex academic social network of both local and distant—as well as native and non-native—peers and mentors when writing from sources. (Published March 15, 2011)
Issue 2 (July through December)
Connected, Disconnected, or Uncertain: Student Attitudes about Future Writing Contexts and Perceptions of Transfer from First Year Writing to the Disciplines, Dana Lynn Driscoll.
Transfer, or how much knowledge from one context is used or adapted in new contexts, is a longstanding issue for researchers and teachers of writing in a variety of disciplines. Transfer is of particular concern when examining how effective first-year writing is in preparing students with a foundation for their disciplinary coursework. This article connects theories of student attitudes and motivation with theories of transfer to investigate their relationship. (Published December 21, 2011)
Where to Put the Manicules: A Theory of Expert Reading, Alice Horning.
Manicules are hand-drawn symbols used by medieval readers to mark important parts of a text. Knowing where to place manicules is one characteristic of an expert reader. A meta-cognitive theory of expert reading helps to account for what readers know that allows them to place manicules appropriately. The theory, supported by a variety of research findings, helps to distinguish experts from novices; teachers can use specific intensive and extensive teaching techniques in any discipline to help novices learn to read well in order to place their manicules successfully. (Published October 6, 2011)
Issue 3 (Special Issue. Collaborating for Content and Language Integrated Learning)
The issue explores the topic of teacher collaboration in Integrating Content and Language / Content and Language Integrated Learning (ICL/CLIL) and reports on a 2011 colloquium in Cape Town, South Africa. Nine papers explore recurring issues of collaboration in the effort of integrating language and content for disciplinary learning and the development of discourse expertise. Recurring topics include exploring research methodologies, theoretical frameworks, and findings from a range of situated educational contexts. Findings suggest the need for a shared discursive and interdisciplinary space to support the negotiation of collaborative practices and to facilitate the analysis of potential (in)congruencies between the disciplines involved. Findings further emphasize how integrated approaches promote the development of discursive and professional identity and that sustained institutional support is necessary.
Guest editor: Magnus Gustafsson, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
Issue 4 (Special Issue. WAC and Second Language Writing: Cross-field Research, Theory, and Program Development)
Anyone currently teaching in or running a writing program at a U.S. university will be familiar with the discourse around the globalization of higher education and will also have experienced the presence of increasingly larger numbers of residential and visa second language students in WID and composition classrooms. This special issue responds to calls for WAC and L2 writing professionals to engage in cross-field scholarship and program building to better understand and address the complexities of writing across languages, cultures, and disciplines, as we strive to support multilingual writers across the curriculum.
Guest editors: Michelle Cox, Bridgewater State College, and Terry Myers Zawacki, George Mason University