Encouraging Writing Across the Disciplines: Articles and Research for Future Reference

 Laura Rosche, Blog Project – Interdisciplinary Writing Program, Spring 2014


General Rhetoric:

These articles will introduce you to general composition theories and ideas behind the construction and implementation of including writing in your disciplinary curricula.

Bitzer, L. (1968). The Rhetorical Situation. Philosophy and Rhetoric. 1-14.

Emig, J. (1977). Writing as a Mode of Learning. College Composition and Communication, 28(2), 122-128.

Rose, M. (1985). The Language of Exclusion: Writing Instruction at the University. College English, 47(4),341-359.

The Council of Writing Program Administrators. (2008). WPA Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition. Retrieved March, 2014, from



These articles will inform you about the changing local and global contexts of academia and professionalism, and the importance of encouraging our students to become active global citizens.

Cameron, D. (2002). Globalization and the Teaching of ‘Communication Skills’. In D. Block & D. Cameron (Eds.), Globalization and Language Teaching (pp. 67-82). London: Routledge.

Drucker, P. (2001). The Educated Person. The Essential Drucker. (pp. 287-295). New York, NY: Harper Collins.


Second Language Learners:

These articles will help you identify different ways of most effectively acknowledging and embracing international identities in your classroom. They address the struggles international students face and our responsibility to help them.

Curry, M.J. (2004). Academic Literacy for English Language Learners. Community College Review, 32(2), 51-68.

Shen, F. (1989). The Classroom and the Wider Culture: Identity as a Key to Learning English Composition. College Composition and Communication, 40(4), 459-466.


These articles discuss the role of writing across the disciplines and the importance of using writing as a tool to learn in all classrooms. The articles articulate the relevance of the WAC movement and its necessity in academia.

Berkenkotter, C., & Huckin, T.(1994). Genre Knowledge in Disciplinary Communication. London: Routledge.

Fulwiler, T. (1988). Evaluating Writing Across the Curriculum Programs. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 36, 61-75.

Gee, J. (1999). Discourses and Social Languages. An Introduction to Discourse Analysis: Theory and Method. (pp. 11-39). London: Routledge.


Writing in Engineering

This article will offer insight on the role of writing in Engineering and discuss the importance of familiar discourse and language as students learn to write for the scientific and technical disiplines.

Windsor, D. (1990). Engineering Writing/Writing Engineering. College Composition and Communication, 41(1), 58-70.


Writing in Science

This article addresses the alarming issue that students are not translating the writing skills they learn in their English courses to other classes. It discusses the importance of writing to learn in the sciences as an effective mode of retention.

Greene, B., & Johnson, L. (1990). Revitalizing Writing Across the Curriculum: Writing in the Sciences. Community Review, 91(11), 26-38.


Writing in Business

This article will introduce you to the different types of writing expected in Business courses at the college level. Though it does not discuss business writing conventions, it does articulate the skills necessary to be considered an effective written communicator in Business.

Zhu, W. (2004). Writing in Business Courses: An Analysis of Assignment Types, Their Characteristics, and Required Skills. English for Specific Purposes, 23, 111-135.


Motivation and Assessment

These articles show teachers alternative methods of student assessment and encouragement of participation. They provide a foundation for teachers who are beginning to use writing in their courses and articulate the importance of student motivation when writing.

Elbow, P. (1993). Ranking, Evaluating, and Liking: Sorting out Three Forms of Judgment. College English, 55(2), 187-206.

Hedengren, B.F. (2004). A TA’s Guide to Teaching Writing in All Disciplines. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Maehr, M. & Meyer, H. (1997). Understanding Motivation and Schooling: Where We’ve Been, Where We Are, and Where We Need to Go. Educational Psychology Review, 9(4), 371-409.


Resources for the Improvement of Teaching:  

Other universities created these websites as supplemental instruction to help teachers feel more comfortable implementing writing in their curriculum. They serve as great examples and resources for new and experienced teachers wishing to better their use of writing in their classroom.

The Eberly Center at Carnegie Mellon University addresses how professors can improve student writing skills most effectively.

The Center for Writing at the University of Michigan discusses the importance of motivation when it comes to writing in all disciplines.

Writing@CSU (Colorado State University) offers professors tools that can help them feel confident in giving feedback on student writing.




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