Writing across the Disciplines

ASRW uses a “Writing across the Disciplines” (WAD) approach to introduce students to the disciplinary culture – and research and writing styles – of subjects within the Faculty of Arts. This involves identifying common features of academic knowledge-making and dissemination, as well as comparing disciplinary practices of research and writing.

The WAD approach is also sometimes known as “Writing across the Curriculum” (WAC). UBC’s Faculty of Science has a great set of WAC resources for students and faculty, available here.

Related approaches to academic writing instruction include

  • “Writing in the Disciplines” (WID), which teaches students the conventions and practices of a particular academic discipline; and
  • “Writing to Learn” (WTL), which uses writing tasks to consolidate subject-matter learning within a particular discipline.

Writing to learn, across and in the disciplines

Black, M. & Rechter, S. (2013) A critical reflection on the use of an embedded academic literacy program for teaching sociology. Journal of Sociology 49(4), 456-470.

Carter, M. (2007) Ways of knowing, doing and writing in the discplines. College Composition and Communication 58(3), 385-418.

Carter, M., Ferzli, M. & Wiebe, E.N. (2007) Writing to learn by learning to write in the disciplines. Journal of Business and Technical Communication 21(3), 278-302.

Clughen, L. & Connell, M. (2012) Writing and resistance: Reflections on the practice of embedding writing in the curriculum. Arts & Humanities in Higher Education 11(4), 333-345.

Dinitz, S. & Harrington, S. (2014) The role of disciplinary expertise in shaping writing tutorials. The Writing Center Journal 33(2), 73-98.

Garrard, Judith. Health sciences literature review made easy: The matrix method.

Toronto: Jones & Bartlett, 2004.

Giltrow, J. (2002) Academic reading: Reading and writing in the disciplines. Peterborough, Ont., Broadview Press.

Goldschmidt, M. (2014) Teaching writing in the disciplines: Student perspectives on learning genre. Teaching & Learning Inquiry: The ISSOTL Journal 2(2), 25-40.

Gray, B. E. (2011). Exploring academic writing through corpus linguistics: When discipline tells only part of the story. (PhD), Northern Arizona University.

Gruber, S., Larson, D., Scott, D. & Neville, M. (1999) Writing4Practice in engineering courses: Implementation and assessment approaches. Technical Communication Quarterly 8(4), 419-440.

Herrington, A. J. (1981). Writing to learn: Writing across the disciplines. College English, 43(4), 379-387.

Holmes, R. (1997). Genre analysis and the social sciences: An investigation of the structure of the research article discussion sections in three disciplines. English for Specific Purposes, 16(4), 321-337.

Lancaster, Z. (2014) Exploring valued patterns of stance in upper-level student writing in the disciplines. Written Communication 31(1), 27-57.

Lester, J. D., Sr, & Lester, J. D., Jr. (2013). The essential guide: Research writing across the disciplines (6th ed.). Boston: Pearson Education

Mackiewicz, J. (2012) Relying on writing consultants: The design of a WID program for a college of business. Journal of Business and Technical Communication 26(2), 229-258.

Melzer, Dan (2014) Assignments across the curriculum: A national study of college writing. Logan: Utah State University Press.

North, S. (2005). Different values, different skills? A comparison of essay-writing by students from arts and science backgrounds. Studies in Higher Education, 30(5), 517-533.

O’Day Nicolas, M. & Annous, S. (2013) Assessing WAC elements in business syllabi. Business Communication Quarterly 76(2), 172-187.

Parker, J. (2003) Writing, revising and practicing the disciplines: Carnegie, Cornell and the scholarship of teaching. Arts & Humanities in Higher Education 2(2), 139-153.

Strachan, W. (2008). Writing-intensive: Becoming W-faculty in a new writing curriculum. Logan: Utah State Press.

Thaiss, C., & Zawacki, T. M. (2006). Faculty talk about their writing, disciplines, and alternatives. In C. Thaiss & T. M. Zawacki (Eds.), Engaged writers and dynamic disciplines: Research on the academic writing life (pp. 32-57). Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook.

Watts, J. & Burnett, R.E. (2012) Pairing courses across the disciplines: Effects on writing performance. Written Communication 29(2), 208-235.

Young, A., & Fulwiler, T. (Eds.). (1986). Writing across the disciplines: Research into practice. Upper Montclair, NJ: Boynton/Cook Publishers.