Research Writing Across the Discipline Essay Sample
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Research Writing Across the Discipline Essay Sample
I. Targets and Objectives
The learners are expected to:
a. determine the purpose of research writing across discipline;
b. discuss the process of making a research writing;
c. distinguish the fields of research writing across discipline; and
d. know the concept and principles of research writing across discipline;
II. Topic and Subject Matter
A. definition of research writing
B. purpose of research writing across discipline
C. process of making a research writing
D. fields of research writing across discipline
a. Research Writing in Science and Technology
b. Research Writing in Business
c. Research Writing in Social Science
d. Research Writing in Humanities
E. Principle of Research Writing Across Discipline
Pablo, Eracem A.(2203). Effective Writing Across Discipline, Quezon City; Lorimar Pub. Co., Inc., pp 86-103. http://megdherzing.wordpress.com/2010/01/25/blog-1-what-is-research-writing-what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-research-writer-how-are-research-questions-developed/ http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2012/11/13/3631719.htm http://www2.lse.ac.uk/government/research/resgroups/MSU/MSU%20home.aspx http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/671/1/
IV. Procedures and Strategies
V. Discussion of contents
A. Define Research Writing
What is Research Writing?
It is the systematic investigation into and study of materials while marking the important words, sentence or paragraph into a paper to make a establish facts and new conclusions.
Abstract Research is an example of a Research Writing.
“Blind Construction: Mixed Media”
Diana Dewi, Jennifer Kittleson, and Wendy Hagedorn (Mentor),
Apparel and Textile Design
The basis of this project was to create a garment using mixed media in order to mimic the human body. The materials we used to create this piece include: buckram, copper wire, spray paint, fabric paint, a variety of novelty fabrics, and chains. The techniques we created in order to manipulate the piece include: fabric branding and burning, grid painting, sewing, draping, molding buckram, and coiling. Our overall approach was to create a theatrical wearable art piece. Upon completion of the assignment we found the piece aesthetically pleasing because of the way it molds to the human body, but can be a piece all on its own. B. Purpose of research writing across the discipline
To observe the concepts, principles, and conventions to be applied when you write a research paper in your particularly discipline and to help the student to be prepared in a well-written research paper.
C. Process of making a Research Writing
a. Choosing an Area of Focus
One of the most important steps in the process of writing a research paper for the English discipline is choosing an interesting, engaging topic. An instructor may offer students a range of topics from which to choose or allow students to choose their own areas of focus. If the teacher does provide a list of possible topics, students may respond by feeling either reassured or stifled by the narrowed topic choices. If you find yourself feeling stifled or have a specific interest in another topic not listed, approach your teacher and express your reservations. He or she may very likely allow you to investigate a topic not on the list. If the instructor does not offer a list of topics and you are having difficulty choosing your own, consider adressing the teacher for more guidance. Most importantly, take your time and don’t feel rushed to choose a specific topic. * Your choice of topic will influence both the effort you invest in your research and the degree to which you enjoy the process. * Choose a topic you find challenging and interesting.
Don’t shy away from controversial topics. Be aware of how much research is available on your topic of choice. Although it is important to offer readers a new interpretation or perspective of the work under investigation, you need not be deterred if your area of focus is widely discussed. It is useful to learn how to incorporate the insights and ideas of other scholars within your own personal findings. * Before narrowing your focus to a specific claim or interpretation, conduct research in order to gain an understanding of what other individuals have said about the topic. Most students find it useful to examine a wide range of sources before deciding on a specific area of focus. * Select a topic you feel equipped to handle. Avoid topics that are: (1) too general- try to be specific about what you seek to investigate, (2) too specialized- remain mindful of the preexisting knowledge you possess, in choosing an overly specialized topic you may find you are not qualified to discuss some of the material, (3) not worth arguing- a reasearch paper should always make some sort of central claim and your topic should therefore enable you to make a clear, concise claim.
b. Seeking Instructor Guidance
Before beginning in-depth research, consult your instructor. He or she may be knowledgeable about the research available on your topic and different scholars you may be interested in investigating. In addition, your instructor may well suggest your topic is too general or specialized and be able to aid you in the process of refining or reworking your topic of choice. c. Conducting Research
This is perhaps the most important step in the research paper writing process. Your research not only provides you ethos as a writer by revealing your knowledge and understanding of the topic, but also will very likely shape both your understanding and interpretation of the topic. Listed below are several important tips for conducting research and notetaking: * In order to avoid later confusion, begin each section by recording the author’s name, book or article title, and page numbers (if relevant). * As you examine each source, record important or unique notions which you may wish to incorporate within your paper. Make certain to outline the general arguments of each source by including a descriptive heading after the citation. This will aid you in more quickly and easily distinguishing between sources in the future. Additionally, it may be useful to group sources into categories based on more refined topics.
* In order to diminish the risk of plagiarizing, do NOT directly lift phrasing or entire segments of the text from sources without properly indicating that you have done so. If you find it necessary to directly quote an author, clearly indicate what has been copied from the author and record the page number on which this information can be found. * Remain critical of your sources: Do not assume that an idea or criticism is valid, because it appears in the argument of a single critic or even multiple critics. It is important to remain criticial of your sources and their interpretations.
Additionally, it is not necessary to exclude a source with whom you disagree. Recognizing and reflecting on claims in opposition to your own both strengthens and substantiates your own interpretation. * There are a wide range of potential sources available to researchers, but not all sources are created equal. In order to ensure your sources are of a high quality, seek sources from respected academic journals and books. It is possible to find valid sources outside of these perameters, however, you should primarily focus on using these resources. The Research References section at the bottom of the page contains links to helpful databases. d. Creating a Tentative Thesis
After rereading your notes and reflecting on the topic, formulate a tentative one-sentence thesis. A thesis states your stance on a specific issue regarding the text. The remainder of your essay should expand upon and strengthen your primary claim or interpretation. Note that this claim need not refute other literary scholarship; however, this claim should either shed light or extrapolate upon an existing interpretation or offer a new interpretation. It should not consist of the writer merely restating the claims of other authors. Refer tothe Writer’s Web page on the thesis for guidance in constructing a clear, well-formulated thesis . An initial thesis should be tentative. Remain willing to change your thesis throughout the writing process. You may very likely end with a thesis quite distinctive from your initial thesis. If this is the case, be certain to revisit your paper in order to ensure that this transition in opinion is not inapproriately evident. Leading the reader through your thought process is not problematic, but a conclusion in opposition to your initial thoughts is. e. Constructing a Comprehensive Outline
The primary purpose of an outline is to help the writer reflect on his or her research/interpretation and to create an organized (and tentative) vision of the research paper. An organized, fluid outline is the start of any good research paper. It aids the writer in constructing a paper which logically proceeds from one related point to the next. An outline should consist of three primary headings–the Introduction, Body, and Conclusion–as well as a number of subheadings regarding more specific categories of discussion. Look at this example of a model outline; note that all outlines need not follow this exact format–this is merely an example which one may tailor to one’s own personal needs. Also see the Writer’s Web page on creating outlines.
f. Organizing Research
Analyze, sythnesize, and organize research according to your outline. Research should proceed sequentially in accordance with your tentantive outline. It may be helfpful to include an additional means of indicating specific subcategories discussed by different authors. For example, you may choose to highlight all discussion of Lady Macbeth in a specific color; as a result, your notes will be organized both by author and specific subcategories. Some research may prove irrelevant to your topic and should therefore be excluded. If you find yourself strugging with specific notions set forth by an author, it is likely in your best interest to either seek faculty help or exclude such materials. This is also an opportunity to juxtapose the views of different authors in order to guage the efficacy and validity of specific interpretations. g. Writing Your Research Paper
Once you have created a compehensive outline and organized your research, it is time to begin writing your research paper. Begin by writing a first draft, taking time away from your work, and then revisiting it a day or two later. A first draft is simply a jumping off point–remain willing to rework your ideas, reorganize the structure/flow, and reassess your claims. Refer to the Writer’s Web pages on using sources for guidance on how to use sources effectively. Consider taking this draft to the Writing Center to have a second pair of eyes examine it, as it is very common for writers to fail to recognize their own errors. Before submitting, make certain you have completed the following checklist: * Is your thesis clear and precise?
* Does your argument flow logically from one point to the next? * Does each new paragraph begin with a topic sentence which links it logically with the preceding paragraph? * Are all your sources clearly cited? Is source information included within your text on the page numbers you have cited? * Are all your outside sources ethically cited? Have excluded any sources or directly quoted from a source without including quotation marks/the page number on which this information was found? * Have you quoted source accurately, including correct punctuation and spelling? * Are citations in the correct format (i.e. APA, MLA, Chicago Style- different teachers demand different formats, MLA is the most commonly accepted format for the English discipline) * Are your claims properly supported with outside research findings? * Have you recognized and discussed opinions in opposition to your own? * Is the overall intent or purpose of your research paper clear? * Have you thorougly revised and edited your paper?
D. Different Fields of Research Writing Across Discipline
a) Research Writing in Science and Technology
b) Research Writing in Business
c) Research Writing in Social Science
d) Research Writing in Humanities
a. Research Writing in Science and Technology
The two major types of papers in science and technology are the research report and the review paper. The RESEARCH REPORT is a formal report of original or primary research. The REVIEW PAPER is a synthesis of existing studies on a particular defined scientific topic. Example of science and technology research:
Jellyfish – inspired tentacles capture cancer
Eric Niiler – Discovery News
Tiny strands of DNA that float like jellyfish tentacles can grab and hold tumour cells in the bloodstream, which may in the future help cancer patients fight the dreaded disease. The device can be used to both count and sort cancer cells, which is an important indicator of how well chemotherapy or other treatments are working. Doctors need to know whether cancer cells are being knocked out or developing immunity. “The key is to know which drugs the remaining cells would be most susceptible to,” says Jeffrey Karp, an author on the paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and co-director of the Center for Regenerative Therapeutics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “Often these cells in the blood stream are at very low concentrations and it’s difficult to isolate them. What you really want to do is collect them and study the biology of the cells and subject them to different kinds of chemo so you know which one is best to use.” Karp says he’s been stung by jellyfish before while swimming with his son: “It doesn’t do much damage, but it really hurts.”
The idea for the microchip came one day in the lab while brainstorming with one of his colleagues. “We became inspired by jellyfish that have these long tentacles that extend far away from their main body,” says Karp. “Regardless where the food lands, they can capture it.” They took short strands of DNA called aptamers that bind with the targeted cancer cell surface, then copied them hundreds of times using something called rolling circle amplification. By connecting these aptamers, they came up with strands of material tens of microns long, much longer than the cell itself. One end of the strand is connected to the microchip and the other floats free in the bloodstream. As the cancer cells drift by, the aptamers bind to them no matter where they touch, just like a jellyfish grabbing food, Karp explains. During experiments, Karp and his team were able to capture 60 per cent of the cancer cells floating by, a figure higher than an existing method that uses a tiny magnet that binds to the cancer cell and is then picked up by a magnetized micro-sorter.
A researcher in this discipline must possess the following library research skills:
1. a familiarity and ability to use library research tools
2. ability to understand and evaluate data
3. ability to paraphrase and summarize information
4. ability to synthesize the information
5. ability to employ the information gathered into organized presentation
Guide in writing a scientific review paper.
1. Determine your topic
2. Make a temporary outline
3. Gather all necessary research data
4. Organize the materials
5. Write your first draft
6. Revise your draft for its final form
b. Research Writing in Business
A writer in the field of business has the expertise to prepare business report. He was good in paraphrases and summarizes the information he discovered in his research. A number of business reports use primary research, such as marketing reviews, technical studies, or computer data. Example of Business Report:
Top-Selling Food and Beverage Products of 2011:
Targeted Innovation Rules the Day
Even in times of plenty, bringing new products to market is challenging. So in this time of not-yet-plenty, it is not shocking to see the pace of new product innovation within the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry on a downward trend. In 2011, overall brand introductions were off 3 percent from last year and numbered 13 percent fewer versus 2008 levels. However, in contrast to declining non-foods new product introductions (from 957 to 896), new food & beverage products and brands rose slightly from 647 in 2010 to 665 in 2011, according to the 2012 New Product Pacesetters report from Chicago-based Symphony IRI Group (www.symphonyiri.com). Most launches fail to garner more than $7.5 million in year-one sales across food, drug and mass channels (excluding Walmart), thereby not meeting the first criterion for SymphonyIRI New Product Pacesetters. Launched between February of one year and January of the next, new products also must achieve 30 percent national distribution and complete a full year of sales (brands that do not are considered Rising Stars for the following year).
Only 2 percent of 2011 new products achieved those criteria; only one broke $100 million in sales. Food and beverage innovation fell, it could be argued, as 92 percent of this year’s Pacesetters are brand extensions. Yes, this road is shorter and easier. Having established brand equity goes a long way to supporting new, related products, which add excitement and longevity to the life of the core brand in a relatively inexpensive and less risky manner. But the easier road comes at a price Year-one sales of product line extensions are generally much lower than sales achieved by net-new brands. During the past 10 years, food and beverage line extensions averaged one-year sales of $27.7 million, about 9 percent less than net-new brands introduced during the same timeframe. New food and beverage products yielded average sales of $35.5 million in 2011, but the gap for brand extensions was much more substantial at $21.5 million, or more than 64 percent. Despite prolonged economic difficulties, 22 percent of consumers are actively looking for new products to try, reinforcing the notion that new products are the lifeblood of the CPG industry, according to the Symphony IRI 2012 New Products Survey.
The best selling food and beverage launches brought restaurant and gourmet quality into the home kitchen, made snacking and on-the-go foods more fun with new textures, exciting flavor combinations and convenience, and were highly targeted. Two-thirds of food and beverage 2011 New Product Pacesetters bring distinctive flavors, new flavors or new flavor combinations into the marketplace, a substantially higher focus than in recent history, and occurring across aisles, categories and manufacturers. Kellogg launched seven brands with distinctive/new flavors, and General Mills launched six. On the healthier-eating front, the most common wellness-related benefit among 2011’s Pacesetters is natural and/or organic ingredients.
In fact, 23 percent of the top food and beverage launches were natural/organic, versus a historical average of 19 percent. Consumers looking to eat well without derailing their dietary efforts are in luck, too. You can create mornings that shine with Thomas’ Bagel Thins ($73.6 million). And, with Kellogg’s Special K Cracker Chips ($50.6 million), you can have your chips and eat them too! It’s a perfectly seasoned way to satisfy your salty snack craving. Both offer calorie-controlled indulgence without the guilt. Taking a dive in 2011, innovation in two groups fell: breakfast solutions and sweet snacks. In the past, those categories were driven by snacks/granola bars and ice cream/sherbet.
Make mine dinner
With more than 55 percent of all shoppers eating at home today (more than prior to the recession), skewing new product innovation to complete dinner solutions accounted for 23 percent of total sales, compared to 18 percent on average from 2002-2011. The No. 1 Pacesetter brand, P.F. Chang’s Home Menu line of frozen entrees from Unilever, touts signature bold flavors of Asian restaurant cuisine. Promising to “ignite the night” with meals that can be ready in less than 13 minutes to appetizers that are “too good to have just one,” the line enjoyed phenomenal first year sales of $101.6 million. Another frozen dinner/entree line that made the list was Nestle’s Lean Cuisine Market Creations ($48.6 million), while Stouffer’s Farmers’ Harvest and Buitoni Riserva exemplify quick and easy meal solutions that offer variety, comfort and/or restaurant quality at a solid value.
In recent years, small companies have made quite a splash in the new products pool. Indeed, 2010’s top-selling food launch was Chobani yogurt. With a purse-string advertising budget, this relative unknown brand took the country by storm, garnering nearly $150 million in year-one sales. While a little late to that Greek yogurt party, Dannon’s Oikos yogurt is one of the Rising Stars SymphonyIRI is watching for next year’s Pacesetters. You don’t have to be big to make a big splash – or to be a Pacesetter. SymphonyIRI called out Denver-based Udi’s Gluten Free Foods. The company (and brand) launched a line of gluten-free appetizers, breakfast foods, breads and desserts. And although it may not be $100 million blockbuster success story, these products fill a compelling need. And shining bright among this year’s Rising Stars is Talking Rain Beverage Co.’s Sparkling Ice, a line of fruit-flavored waters. They have no calories or caffeine but do have vitamin D, B vitamins and antioxidants. During the past year, 6 percent of food and beverage Pacesetters boasted a gluten-free claim to accommodate those with celiac disease, as well as others who feel that gluten-free eating offers health benefits.
To that end, other manufacturers, including Frito-Lay, added a gluten-free label to appropriate existing product lines to raise awareness among consumers. SymphonyIRI’s “15 Years of New Product Pacesetters” report shows new product average year-one sales declined from $35 million in 2002 to less than $25 million in 2011. Indeed, new products are becoming increasingly targeted to the needs and wants of smaller, more discrete consumer segments. The trend toward highly targeted new products, whether line extensions or net-new brands is strengthening. With the growing presence and power of social media, as well as the potential to innovate freely and creatively, the “go to market” playing field is a bit more level.
Across most beverages, the pace of successful innovation remains on par with historic norms in 2011. But activity in the coffee and tea sector was quite high, driven heavily by the proliferation of single-cup coffee products designed for Keurig coffee machines. For the year, nine coffee and tea innovations achieved New Product Pacesetter status, versus an historic average of four per year between 2002 and 2011. Five of those nine coffee and tea launches included single-cup, K-Cup coffees, making the enjoyment of a fancy beverage quick, easy and portable. Folgers Gourmet Selections K-Cups ($54 million) was the top-selling single-cup coffee launch. Green Mountain Coffee-branded K-cups were among last year’s Pacesetters. And that same Mountain launched multiple Pacesetter K-Cup coffee brands for 2011, including Caribou Coffee, Tully’s and Donut House Collection.
Starbucks Coffee Co. also joined the K-cups craze. Gold Peak Chilled Tea ($44.3 million) was the pause that refreshed, and Folger‘s Gourmet Selections K-Cups ($54 million), was the top-selling single-cup coffee launch, and one of two J.M. Smucker brands to achieve New Product Pacesetter status. Millstone was the other. At first glance, it appears innovation in the carbonated beverage, sports and energy drink arena – normally hotbeds of activity — was down. Actually, the number of new brands achieving Pacesetter status in this area was on par with historical trends, at five – just none of them made the top 10. For the year, Pacesetters in this group represented about $27 million in year-one sales, or 23 percent of total beverage Pacesetter dollars. This is well below the historical average of more than $58 million in year-one, a shift caused by the adoption of a focus on more targeted beverage innovation.
According to SymphonyIRI’s 2011 State of the Snack Industry report, snack frequency is on the rise, with increases occurring across dayparts. CPG marketers are aware of and playing to this trend. Successful candy and gum launches represented 19 percent of food New Product Pacesetter dollars, more than double their average share 2002-2011. Mars is a driver of candy and gum innovation trends, and the company placed four brands in the Top 20 food and beverage New Product Pacesetters, including two chocolate products (M& M’s Pretzel and Snickers Peanut Butter Squared) and two gum products (Wrigley’s 5 React and Wrigley’s Extra Dessert Delights). Together, these products play to a range of key snacking trends. More consumers are trying to eat healthier, up from 76 percent to 87 percent in just three years, according to SymphonyIRI’s annual Consumer Snacking Survey, and healthier living has become a key means of managing medical expenses. Given this powerful trend, it is logical that manufacturers are embracing new ingredients and new technologies to raise the bar on the taste and texture of healthier-for-you food and beverage options.
A healthy-spin on an indulgent product, made possible by adoption of a more natural approach to manufacturing, is Oscar Mayer Selects ($69.2 million), frankfurters, which contain no artificial preservatives and only naturally occurring nitrates and nitrites. PepsiCo is another historical contributor to the New Product Pacesetters. This year it, too, brought to market products that landed just outside of the top 10. Two products come from Gatorade’s G Series line. Gatorade Prime is a pouch filled with pre-game fuel designed to give your body the energy it needs to own the first move. Gatorade Recover is an after-workout beverage with protein that helps to rebuild muscles. “The Pacesetters of today, having beaten the new product odds regardless of a difficult and complex environment, are truly remarkable,” says Larry Levin, executive vice president of consumer insights at SymphonyIRI. “It all begins with really listening and responding to consumers. Manufacturers taking the time to gain an intimate knowledge of the needs and wants of their consumers are cracking the code on true innovation.”
In writing a business report a writer must be:
1. Familiar in library resources in business
2. Able to understand and evaluate data from a variety of sources
3. Able to paraphrase and summarize information
4. Able to synthesize information
5. Able to employ the formal convention of business reports
Guide in writing research report in Business
1. Determine your research topic. (Use business journals)
2. Prepare notecards and notebook
3. Develop your research strategy
4. Formulate your thesis
5. Analyze the data to determine the most effective way to present your result
6. Rewrite your first draft
7. Revise your drafts to its final term
c. Research Writing in Social Science
Social Science focuses in study of human behavior and human societies. It must combine of primary research (interview, surveys, and questionnaires.) Example of Social Science research:
The truth about migration
Not so long ago, the headlines were full of dire warnings about the number of Poles and other East and Central European migrants who were entering
Britain. We were told that public services in market towns were being put under intolerable strain and that local transport networks were at breaking point. The question troubling House of Commons committees and Whitehall mandarins was what measures could be taken to mitigate the social impact of such migration. But the latest Home Office figures suggest that our political masters have been fighting the last war. The number of East and Central European migrants seeking work in this country has fallen to its lowest level since EU enlargement four years ago. Applications for employment between April and June this year were lower than at any time since 2004. These figures demonstrate a truth about migration which some in our society have always been loath to accept: that the greatest single influence is usually not government regulation but market forces. Britain sucked in large numbers of Poles and others in the years after 2004 primarily because our economy was growing so strongly. Now that economic activity here is drying up, there is less demand for labour. More East and Central Europeans are therefore returning home, or staying away.
Of course, migration is not influenced solely by labour demand in one country. The sustained expansion of East and Central European economies, while those of “old Europe” slip into negative growth, is another powerful incentive for workers to ply their trade at home, rather than abroad. Finally, there is also the sharp decline in the value of the pound in recent months against the euro. It has become more profitable for a Warsaw plumber to set up shop elsewhere on the continent. This shows us why we should be sceptical about scare stories concerning migration trends. Economies tend to find their equilibrium unless interfered with by politicians. Indeed, our political masters might like to keep a close eye on the migration figures from now on for a very different reason: when the numbers start to rise again, it will be a good indication that our own economy is through the worst.
A researcher in this discipline must possess the following library research skills: 1. Familiar with primary research techniques used by social scientist 2. Familiar with library research tools used by social scientist 3. Ability to synthesize and evaluate data and opinion 4. Ability to organize and write a paper that supports thesis 5. Ability to use the formal conventions of research paper
A guide to the Social Science Research Report
1. Choose a good topic to investigate
2. Formulate your thesis statement
3. Prepare an outline
4. Gather necessary materials
5. Organize your materials
6. Write your first draft
7. Revise your draft to its final form
d. Research Writing in Humanities
In many research works in the humanities, the researcher needs to be systematic conducting a research and he/she has an adequate knowledge in this field. Example of Humanities research abstract:
“Margaret C. Anderson’s Little Review”
Sophia Estante and Lorrie Moore (Mentor), English
This research looks at the work of Margaret C. Anderson, the editor of the Little Review. The review published first works by Sherwood Anderson, James Joyce, Wyndham Lewis, and Ezra Pound. This research draws upon mostly primary sources including memoirs, published letters, and a complete collection of the Little Review. Most prior research on Anderson focuses on her connection to the famous writers and personalities that she published and associated with. This focus undermines her role as the dominant creative force behind one of the most influential little magazines published in the 20th Century. This case example shows how little magazine publishing is arguably a literary art.
One can do a good research work in this discipline if:
1. Ability to read primary text carefully and critically
2. Familiar in library resources in humanities
3. Evaluate and synthesize information
4. Develop a thesis consistent
5. Organize and write a paper that effectively supports a thesis
6. Use properly the formal conventions
Guide in making a research paper in humanities:
1. Choose a literary text
2. Prepared the notecards or notebook where to record the information
3. Read primary text carefully
4. Prepare research strategy
5. Gather all necessary notes
6. Formulate your thesis statement carefully
7. Focus on the research
8. Revise the outline
9. Write the first draft
10. Revise the draft to its final form
E. Principle of Research Writing Across Discipline
e. Learning to write in a discipline is intricately imbricated with learning to think within a discipline’s critical traditions. f. Learning to write effectively within a discipline is a long-term process; some students may not advance to a comfortable “expertness” in their writing by the time they are ready to graduate from their undergraduate programs. g. Writing increases student engagement with course materials and content, and increases retention of information and depth of understanding h. Not all writing within a class need be “high stakes” demonstrations of the elements of disciplinary-specific discourses, approaches, or styles for writing to be an effective learning tool. Writing can in fact serve multiple purposes within a course, for instance taking the form of “low stakes” practice or “writing to learn” exercises qua “puzzles” that are structured to encourage students to explore materials and develop as thinkers by working through disciplinary-specific lines of inquiry, engage materials actively, and reflect upon what they have learned
i. Writing-instruction is most effective when it is integrated into courses and curricula — that is when instructors see writing as a unique tool closely related to the learning objectives of coursework and a major. j. Student-writers benefit from a sequenced, developmental curriculum that continues writing-instruction beyond the first year composition and general education courses into discipline-specific courses. Departments need to be proactive in building vertical, unified, and developmental curricula that attend to writing in the majors. This means identifying in which courses and at what stages of a major (or course of study) that their students are learning specific skill sets and supporting a student’s writing development with specific and targeted coursework in writing throughout their undergraduate major. k. Integrating writing-instruction into areas of disciplinary-instruction requires faculty to reflect upon — sometimes for the first time — what constitutes “good writing” in their fields and how the writing they ask their students to produce reflects particular understandings of course content, disciplinary ways of doing and knowing, and other learning objectives.
Further, students benefit greatly when faculty to think through their criteria for “good” writing and work towards making those criteria more explicit for students, including how experts as writers use language, deploy evidence, pursue lines of inquiry, structure academic arguments, and demonstrate their authority to other readers in their fields. l. Students are better able to perform in high stakes assignments when the complex sets of skills and sub-skills required by an assignment are broken down and supported by a “scaffolding” approach to the assignment, “writing their way into” the discourses of the discipline. Likewise, students benefit from the opportunity to revise in accordance with faculty feedback and to reflect upon what they are learning, what it means to write in a discipline, and how they have progressed as writers. m. Rethinking entry-level courses to focus upon “threshold concepts” provides exactly this sort of scaffolding of writing assignments and links well with goals to introduce students to writing in their majors.