How we Teach WRDS 150

WRDS 150: Writing and Research in the Disciplines (3 credits)

Course Overview

WRDS 150 invites students to participate in the scholarly conversation by performing the actions of researchers, scholarly communicators, and peer reviewers while understanding and upholding the expectations of academic integrity. Students will begin to develop their own identities as apprentice members of academic research communities by producing work in several scholarly genres, using the language and rhetorical features characteristic of specific academic disciplines. To illustrate how different types of knowledge about a single issue can be made by research in different disciplines, each section of WRDS 150 has a “research area” chosen by the instructor. Non-Arts sections of WRDS 150 use research areas that can be approached from at least three disciplinary perspectives, including non-Arts disciplines. Learning about the research area is not the primary focus of any WRDS 150 section. The topic simply provides connection between the class readings.

Course Goals and Learning Objectives

1.    Reading and working with academic sources in context
a.    Reading, summarizing, comparing, and critically evaluating scholarly articles, retaining the key arguments/findings and emphases of the originals.
b.     Recognizing forms of argumentation and identifying the rhetorical practices made by members of specific academic research disciplines, including positioning, definition, attribution, hedging, and presupposition/assertion.
c.     Recognizing the goals, methods, and citation practices of specific academic research disciplines.

2.    Engaging in apprentice scholarly research
a.     Developing a research project that addresses a gap in knowledge within a particular research community, and which implements relevant language and rhetorical practices in a variety of genres, including a research proposal and working bibliography, a presentation (oral or poster), and a final paper.
b.     Gathering relevant and credible primary and secondary sources, using appropriate tools and methods, including UBC Library resources.
c.     Engaging responsibly with and within research communities, using appropriate citation practices that meet the expectations of academic integrity and adhering to ethical standards of data collection with research collaborators.
d.     Engaging in constructive and collaborative practices of knowledge production, including performing peer review and integrating feedback.

Course Materials

Students read and engage critically with six scholarly publications, representing at least three different disciplines that are relevant to the research area chosen for the section. These publications are usually peer-reviewed research articles, but may also include theoretical articles, review articles, and book reviews. Some WRDS 150 instructors also use a writing textbook such as the following:

Giltrow, J., Gooding, R., Burgoyne, D., & Sawatsky, M. (2009). Academic Writing: An introduction(3rd ed.). Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press.

Graff, G., & Birkenstein, C. (2018). They say, I say: The moves that matter in academic writing(4th ed.). NY &London: W.W. Norton & Co.

Assessment

Summaries (5–10%)
Students use their own words to summarize the work of others – both in an extended format (anywhere from 3 sentences to 500 words) and in a very brief format (e.g. by summarizing several studies in one or two sentences).

Research Project (40–50%, varies by section)
Students develop a semester-long research project that addresses a gap in knowledge within a particular research community. Students write in a variety of genres, including a research proposal and working bibliography (10–20%), a presentation (oral or poster; % varies by section), and a final paper (25–35%). The form of the final paper varies, but students are expected to produce writing in an academic genre, e.g. a research paper or a literature review. This flexibility may be especially important in non-Arts sections where the ability of first-year students – particularly in the sciences – to complete original research may be limited by resource availability and time.

Metalanguage/discourse/genre analysis (% varies by section)
Students are asked to demonstrate that they can identify features of academic writing (i.e., the metalanguage) that reflect the research practices in a discipline. Knowing where, how, and for what purposes a scholar uses particular writing features helps students understand how they function, how they are used in academic writing, and how to apply them in their own work. For example, students might examine how a scholar uses hedging (apparently, can, may, might, possibly, suggest, supposedly, I think, it seems to me, to our knowledge, we tentatively suggest) to indicate plausible reasoning rather than certain knowledge.

Participation (not above 20%)

Academic integrity (% varies by section)

There is no final exam in WRDS 150.

WRDS 150 Course Objectives

WRDS 150 will introduce you to the ethical knowledge-making practices of scholarly communities, such as particular academic disciplines and research fields. You will begin to participate in scholarly conversations within those communities by performing the actions of academic researchers, scholarly communicators, and peer-reviewers. You will also produce work in several scholarly genres and familiarize yourself with the conventions of communication of specific academic disciplines. In doing so, you will begin to develop your own scholarly identity as a member of academic research communities.

 

Learning Objectives

  1. Working with scholarly sources to read and interpret academic discourse in context

You will work with scholarly articles to recognize how the conventions of communication within academic disciplines, including forms of argumentation and what counts as evidence, reflect and shape the types of knowledge associated with research cultures in the university. This will be done by:

a. Reading, summarizing, comparing, and critically evaluating scholarly articles, retaining the key arguments/findings and emphases of the originals.

 

b. Recognizing forms of argumentation and identifying the rhetorical moves made by members of specific academic research disciplines, including practices of positioning, definition, attribution, hedging, and presupposition/assertion.

 

c. Recognizing the goals, methods, and citation practices of specific academic research disciplines.

  1. Engaging in apprentice scholarly research

You will participate as apprentice members of academic research communities by identifying and tracing the scholarly conversation around a research problem and by developing questions, collecting evidence, and constructing arguments through ethical and collaborative practices of scholarship. This will be done by:

a. Developing a research project that addresses a gap in knowledge within a particular research community, and which implements relevant discursive features and rhetorical moves in a variety of genres, including a research proposal and working bibliography, a presentation, and a final paper.

 

b. Gathering relevant and credible primary and secondary sources, using appropriate tools and methods, including UBC Library resources.

 

c. Engaging responsibly with and within research communities, using appropriate citation practices that meet the expectations of academic integrity and adhering to ethical standards of data collection with research collaborators.

 

d. Engaging in constructive and collaborative practices of knowledge production, including performing peer review and integrating feedback.

WRDS 150 Course Objectives

WRDS 150 introduces students to ethical knowledge-making practices and invites them to participate in the scholarly conversation by performing the actions of researchers, scholarly communicators, and peer-reviewers.  Students will begin to develop their own identities as apprentice members of academic research communities by producing work in several scholarly genres, using discursive features and rhetorical moves characteristic of specific academic disciplines.

 

Learning Objectives

  1. Reading and working with academic sources in context

Students work carefully with scholarly articles to recognize how the discursive conventions of academic disciplines both reflect and shape the types of knowledge associated with research cultures within the university, including forms of argumentation and what counts as evidence.  This is done by:

a. Reading, summarizing, comparing, and critically evaluating scholarly articles, retaining the key arguments/findings and emphases of the originals.

b. Recognizing forms of argumentation and identifying the rhetorical moves made by members of specific academic research disciplines, including practices of positioning, definition, attribution, hedging, and presupposition/assertion.

c. Recognizing the goals, methods, and citation practices of specific academic research disciplines.

 

  1. Engaging in apprentice scholarly research

Students participate as apprentice members of academic research communities by identifying and tracing the scholarly conversation around a research problem and by developing questions, collecting evidence, and constructing arguments through ethical and collaborative practices of scholarship.  This is done by:

a. Developing a research project that addresses a gap in knowledge within a particular research community, and which implements relevant discursive features and rhetorical moves in a variety of genres, including a research proposal and working bibliography, a presentation (oral or poster), and a final paper.

 

b. Gathering relevant and credible primary and secondary sources, using appropriate tools and methods, including UBC Library resources.

 

c. Engaging responsibly with and within research communities, using appropriate citation practices that meet the expectations of academic integrity and adhering to ethical standards of data collection with research collaborators.

 

d. Engaging in constructive and collaborative practices of knowledge production, including performing peer review and integrating feedback.

Click here for sample syllabi, and select courses labelled "WRDS 150A."

Click here for sample syllabi, and select courses labelled "WRDS 150B."

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Click here for sample syllabi, and select courses labelled "WRDS 350."