WRDS 350 Course Descriptions

WRDS 350: Interdisciplinary Studies in Arts: Knowledge-making in the Disciplines

WRDS 350 is an advanced scholarly writing course focusing on stylistic analyses of academic writing in different disciplinary contexts. An important theme of the course is the development of students’ awareness of their own identity as knowledge-makers in the university community through the methodology of discourse analysis. Students will apply concepts from discourse analysis and language studies to the writing and practices of academic disciplines, ultimately focusing on their own discipline, as opposed to writing papers on the subject matter of their discipline. For example, if your discipline is Sociology, instead of writing Sociology papers, you will be analyzing how scholars in various disciplines write for publication as a basis for producing a research paper that analyzes the language features of Sociological publications. This approach is intended to equip students to negotiate writing tasks effectively in both their disciplinary courses and in other professional contexts.

In the course, students will build on their knowledge of scholarly writing, language, and genre analysis to explore the styles of expression which characterize knowledge-making activities—the key practices of research and scholarly discourse–in particular fields of discursive practice, or disciplines. Students will read about social theories of written texts, corpus-supported and other analytical methods, and the range of genres typical of a research culture’s activities. As discourse analysts, students will design and carry out a study of the stylistic features and social context of scholarly writing in their own discipline.

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. identify the role of disciplinary epistemologies (knowledge practices) in generating research genres;
  2. make distinctions among disciplinary epistemologies and between scholarly and non-scholarly discourses;
  3. apply discourse and rhetorical analytic methods of analysis to various research genres;
  4. analyze the key features of organizational culture to map the social context and networks of genres in a discipline;
  5. design and execute a theoretically-informed research project on the disciplinary language of their major;
  6. write in a variety of academic genres, including the literature review, oral presentation, analytical report, proposal, and research paper.