Writing In the Disciplines


Writing to Learn

The Purdue On-line Writing Lab (OWL)  explains that writing across the curriculum as a  “pedagogical approach values writing as a method of learning.”  The act of putting ideas into written language helps us synthesize information, but it also helps us see issues in ways we may not have seen them before.  Writing, then, becomes the opportunity through which learning happens.  Good writing is good thinking.  The Council of Writing Program Administrators has created a document that highlights the important “habits of mind” and knowledge necessary for effective writing.

Writing Program Administrator’s Framework for Success in Post Secondary Writing

Writing in Response to Reading or Discussion

The Purdue On-line Writing Lab (OWL)  explains that writing across the curriculum as a  “pedagogical approach values writing as a method of learning. When students write reactions to information received in class or in reading, they often comprehend and retain the information better. Writing can also help students work through confusing new ideas and apply what they learn to their own lives and interests. Also, because students write more frequently, they become more comfortable with writing and are able to maintain or even improve upon their writing skills. WTL assignments are typically short and informal and can be performed either in or out of class. Examples include writing and reading journals, summaries, response papers, learning logs, problem analyses, and more”(https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/671/1/). The links below provide helpful information on how students can respond to class readings and discussion.

What is Response to Reading?

How to Respond to Your Reading

Using Writing to Promote Critical Thinking


One of the most challenging stages in writing is revision.  Though some believe revision essentially involves attending to surface features like typographical errors, citation style, punctuation, and grammar, it actually involves far more.  Effective revision often requires re-thinking and rewording.  In Bird by Bird Anne Lamott says, “Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something — anything — down on paper. A friend of mine says that the first draft is the down draft — you just get it down. The second draft is the up draft — you fix it up. You try to say what you have to say more accurately. And the third draft is the dental draft, where you check every tooth, to see if it’s loose or cramped or decayed, or even, God help us, healthy” (pp. 25-26) Providing opportunities for students to revise helps them learn not only how to revise their writing, but understand more clearly when revision is necessary. The links below provide helpful information about revision.

Academics: Revision Strategies

Rewriting or Revising?

Good Academic Writing: It’s About Revision

Future Topics

Overcoming a lack of identity as a writer

The Important Role of Correctness

Dealing with a Wide Range of Abilities in a Single Classroom

Managing the Paper Load

Making Time in a Crowded Curriculum

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