Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Writing in the Disciplines

Question: How do writers in specific disciplines adapt to the writing requirements of that discipline?

Answer: This is an initial study of the problem of adapting to the writing requirements of specific disciplines. The student in question was a PhD candidate in rhetoric. He was a teacher of writing, but he was so overwhelmed by the writing requirements of his discipline that he made fundamental mistakes in coherence and point of view (writing in the first person, for example).He also found that strictures were waived in certain types of writing. They were not the same for all types of writing in the field.

Comment: I bring up this article because helping students adjust to the unfamiliar writing requirements of disciplines is important to helping students recognize the realities of achieving successful writing in a new field. I look forward to more studies of adapting to the unfamiliar writing requirements of disciplines beyond English. This study also sheds light on the limitations of writing instruction in undergraduate English classes. RayS.

Title: “Conventions, Conversations, and the Writer: Case Study of a Student in a Rhetoric Ph.D. Program.” C Berkenkotter,  TN Huckin, and J Ackerman. Research in the Teaching of English (February 1988), 9-44.

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