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
Calls for Special Issues
Reading and Writing Across the Curriculum (Proposals due June 1, 2012)
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. Qualitative and quantitative studies such as Jolliffe and Harl's analysis of students' reading journals at the University of Arkansas and ACT's 2006 study, relating ACT reading performance to success in college among 563,000 students, support the idea that students lack the reading skills needed to do college work successfully. 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. Understanding and addressing the "don't, won't, can't" problem is everyone's job, in every course, in every discipline. In this special issue of Across the Disciplines, we invite proposals for articles that explore this issue across disciplines. (Guest edited by 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.