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Selected Bibliography of WAC Books and Articles

Anson, Chris M., ed. The WAC Casebook: Scenes for Faculty Reflection and Program Development. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

—, et al. Writing Across the Curriculum: An Annotated Bibliography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993.

Barnett, Robert W. and Jacob S. Blumner. Writing Centers and Writing Across the Curriculum Programs. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999.

Bazerman, Charles and David R. Russell, eds. Landmark Essays on Writing Across the Curriculum. Davis, CA: Hermagoras Press, 1994.

Bean, John. Engaging Ideas: The Professor's Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2001.

—, Drenk, Dean, and F.D. Lee. "Microtheme Strategies for Developing Cognitive Skills." Teaching Writing in all the Disciplines. 27 - 38.

In this chapter, the strategy of using micro-themes or short essays within either large or small classroom contexts is explored. The authors give examples of several different genres of micro-themes including: the summary, argumentation and thesis support, inductive reasoning from data, and quandary posing. The chapter concludes with an examination of the pedagogical validity of the use of micro-themes and suggestions for implementing their use.

Brenson, Sarah and Glenda S. Carter. "Changing Assessment Practices in Science and Mathematics." School Science and Mathematics. 95.4 (April 1995) 182 - 186.

This article examines a variety of different assessment methods within the math and natural science classrooms. The suggested methods include journal writing, open-ended problems and portfolios. Journals and open-ended problems are intended to give teachers insight into the conceptual understanding of their students. Portfolios give the students opportunity for self-evaluation and provide documentation of progress over a period of time. The article also includes the objectives each type of assessment can address, hints for their use, and samples.

Day, Robert, Scientific English: A Guide for Scientists and Other Professionals. 2nd ed. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx P, 1995.

Day has designed a guide to general scientific style, grammar, and usage. He also includes a list of the style manuals that are appropriate to the various disciplines and a chapter on sensitivity to certain language usage. The appendixes contain lists of words to avoid, and problem words and expressions.

—. How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper. 5th ed. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx P, 1998.

Robert Day designed this book primarily to assist graduate students and people wanting to publish in the sciences who needed advice about the conventions of scientific writing. The book includes a discussion on what separates scientific writing from other writing, formatting a section by section analysis of the elements of the scientific paper, a discussion on different genres of science writing, and a number of appendixes that cover technical terms, sample submissions, and a glossary of jargon and preferred usages.

Emig, Janet. "Writing as a Mode of Learning." The Writing Teacher's Source Book. 2nd ed. Ed. Gary Tate and Edward P.J. Corbett. New York: Oxford U P , 1988. 85-93

In this highly influential essay, Emig argues that writing is one of the best tools for learning as it involves the whole brain in all the processes: doing, depicting, and symbolizing (wording). This essay is the corner stone for many WAC and WID initiatives and the pedagogical theory they are based upon.

"Engineering Students Write Science Books for Children." The Bulletin of the Association for Business Communication. 55.4 (Dec 92) 49 - 50.

This article describes the success of a writing task set by a technical writing teacher for his class. Each student was to take a subject that they were both familiar and enthusiastic about and write a book whose target audience was elementary school children. To prepare for the task, the students read ten professionally written books and examine such things as content, format, and style. The article ends by citing the students' enthusiasm for the challenge.

English, Tom. "Writing to Learn and Journal Applications in the Introductory Astronomy Course." Language and Learning Across the Disciplines 2.2 (1997): 18 — 27.

In this introductory course, the traditional lab assignments were reworked into observation journals. English describes the journals as being of particular benefit both to the students in requiring them to write about what they have learned and for the instructor as a measure of student understanding and progress. Examples of student logs are included as evidence for the development of students' observation and writing skills. Additionally, the value of the questions and response type of journal entry is discussed.

Fulwiler, Toby and Art Young, eds. Programs That Work: Models and Methods for Writing Across the Curriculum. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 1990.

—, ed. The Journal Book. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/Cook, 1987.

This book was pivotal in the movement to introduce journal writing to a variety of classroom settings. The introduction of the book provides guidelines for the use of journals in the classroom. The third section of the book focuses on the use of journals in the quantitative and qualitative classrooms. The articles are written by a variety of teachers who successfully used journals in their various disciplinary classrooms from elementary through the collegiate level.

Goodman, Daniel and John Bean. "Chemistry Laboratory Project to Develop Thinking and Writing Skills." Journal of Chemical Education 60.6 (June 1983): 483 - 485.

This article outlines the method used to produce professional level reports for an undergraduate organic chemistry course. The students are encouraged to use models from professional journals, are involved in the determination of the criteria to be used to judge the most effective reports, and are engaged in selecting the best reports for an in-house publication. After three years of use in the classroom, the authors conclude that the writing task was very effective in teaching students both the rhetorical strategies appropriate to writing reports and in improving their scientific thinking.

Gratz, Ronald K. "Improving Lab Report Quality by Model Anaylsis, Peer Review, and Revision." Journal of College Science Teaching 19.5 (Mar/Apr 1990): 292 - 295.

Gratz argues that the quality of biology lab reports can be improved by choosing models of scientific writing from professional journals for the students to analyze. He then allows students to peer review their classmates’ lab reports. Based upon this review, the students are encouraged to revise their reports before submitting them. Gratz provides guidelines for the peer review with the understanding that it is his responsibility as a teacher to instruct the students on the principles of good, well-organized scientific writing.

Hamilton, David. "Interdisciplinary Writing." College English 41.7 (Mar 1980): 780 — 796.

Hamilton uses his experiences in teaching a course on writing in the sciences to argue for an approach to using writing in the classroom that stresses writing for an audience and, by implication, the students’ coming to terms with their own comprehension of the material. He bases his argument in principles from classical rhetoric and illustrates it with examples from his students.

Herrington, Anne and Charles Moran, eds. Writing, Teaching, and Learning in the Disciplines. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 1992.

Hillocks, George Jr. Teaching Writing as Reflective Practice. New York: Teachers College Press, 1995.

Klein, Bill and Besty M. Aller. "Writing Across the Curriculum in College Chemistry: A Practical Bibliography." Language and Learning Across the Disciplines 2.3 (1998): 25-35.

This article contains not only a comprehensive bibliography oriented specifically toward teaching chemistry at the collegiate level, but also makes recommendations on ways to implement WAC and writing in the chemistry classroom based upon a review of the bibliography’s literature.

Laszlo, Pierre. "Science as Writing, of Science as Reading?" Substance. 23.74 99-106.

Lazlo argues that science writing bears a closer resemblance to other forms of writing, in particular literary writing, than might be at first evident. He draws comparisons between the uses of observation, the requirements for an ordered sequence of the elements of the observation, and the reliance upon rhetorical strategies. He concludes that the accounts of the advancements of learning in science should be judged upon criteria drawn from more traditionally literary endeavors.

LeCourt, Donna. "WAC as Critical Pedagogy: The Third Stage?" JAC: Journal of Composition Theory 16.3 (1996): 389-405.

Locke, David. Science as Writing. New Haven: Yale UP, 1992.

The principle argument of the chemist David Lockeés book is that "every scientific text must be read, that it is writing, not some privileged verbal shorthand that conveys a pure and unvarnished scientific truth" (ix). Within this text, he looks at the history of science writing and its development and through this examination problematizes the use of language in scientific discourse. His argument implies a need for critical attention to the rhetorical uses of language in scientific literature and the ways in which this language creates accepted knowledge.

Lutzker, Marilyn. Research Projects for College Students: What to Write Across the Curriculum. NY: Greenwood P, 1988.

This book, written by a reference librarian, explores the creation of writing assignments for all the disciplines. The first section discusses the design of meaningful and pedagogically useful assignments that take into account the relationship between content and writing and research skills. The second section looks at the variety of ways that research findings are reported which can provide assignments that differ from the traditional term paper. The third section concerns advice on the imaginative use of library materials to construct assignments that are interesting to the students and still achieve the goals of the course.

Mahala, Daniel. "Writing Utopias: Writing Across the Curriculum and the Promise of Reform." College English 53.7 (Nov. 1991): 773-89.

Maimon, Elaine, et al. Writings in the Arts and Sciences. Boston: Little, Brown, and Co. 1981.

This book was one of the first of its kind: an introduction to writing for the academy for incoming college students. It includes sections on all the broader disciplines including a section on general principles for writing in the natural sciences. This work includes close text analysis of and commentary on student lab reports, field notebooks, reviews, and questions and exercises on these genres.

McLeod, Susan H. Strengthening Programs for Writing Across the Curriculum. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1988.

--- and Margot Iris Soven, eds. Composing a Community: A History of Writing Across the Curriculum. West Lafayette, IN: Parlor Press, 2006.

---, et al. WAC for the New Millennium: Strategies for Continuing Writing Across the Curriculum Programs. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English, 2001.

Miraglia, Eric and Susan H. McLeod. "Whither WAC? Interpreting the Stories/Histories of Enduring WAC Programs." WPA: The Writing Program Administrator 20.3 (1997): 46-64.

Monroe, Jonathon, ed. Writing and Revising the Disciplines. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2002.

Moore, Randy. "Does Writing About Science Improve Learning About Science?" Journal of College Science Teaching 12.4 (Feb 1993): 212-217.

Moore experimented with "writing to learn" in four sections of his biology class. Each section had a different amount of writing assigned and differing levels of feedback on assignments. Moore concludes that merely writing without guidance and instruction on the principles of writing in the discipline only reinforces poor writing skills. He makes a convincing argument that only the students provided with such guidance improved significantly in their writing and testing.

Pechenick, Jan. A. A Short Guide to Writing About Biology. 2nd ed. NY: HarperCollins, 1993.

Pechenick has written a handbook designed to be used by undergraduate students in the biological sciences. The book contains chapters on what biologists write about, an annotated list of key principles of science writing, advice on reading and note-taking, and writing lab reports, essays and term papers, research proposals, summaries, letters of application, and several chapters on revision strategies.

Porush, David. A Short Guide to Writing About Science. NY: HarperCollins, 1995.

This handbook is directed toward writing in for all the natural sciences rather than being discipline specific. The book is divided up into sections on science and the imagination, science and critical thinking, writing in the lab and field notebooks, moving from the notebook to the report, and chapters on writing, papers, titles, abstracts, introductions, hypotheses, materials and methods, and presentation of results, visual materials, and interpretations. It includes an essay on the relationship between science and writing, illustrations from professional journals, and appendixes on using numbers, formulas and symbols.

Russell, David. Writing in the Academic Disciplines: A Curricular History. 2nd ed. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 2002.

Steiner, Richard. "Chemistry and the Written Word." Journal of Chemical Education 59.12 (Dec 1982): 1044.

Steiner describes his experiment within his chemistry lecture to see if the ability of students to produce well-constructed written summaries of his work correlated with their test scores. He concluded that this was true; he also noted the additional benefit of his experiment: by reading the students’ writing he was able to identify what the students believed was important and, consequently, what he must reemphasize as an instructor.

Townsend, Martha A. "Writing Across the Curriculum." The Allyn & Bacon Sourcebook for Writing Program Administrators. Ed. Irene Ward and William J. Carpenter. New York: Longman, 2002. 264-274.

Walvoord, Barbara E., et al. In the Long Run: A Study of Faculty in Three Writing-Across-the-Curriculum Programs. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English, 1997.

Wilkinson, A.M. "A Freshman Writing Course in Parallel with a Science Course." College Composition and Communication 36.2 (May 1985): 160-165.

This article describes a biology course taught with a parallel freshman writing course. The intention was to allow students to write for their colleagues and draw upon the subject matter of the biology class while permitting both courses to focus on their core content as much as possible. The advantages and disadvantages of this approach are detailed and the conclusion reached is that the benefits of such a collaboration seem to outweigh the disadvantages.

Yancey, Kathleen Blake and Brian A. Huot, eds. Assessing Writing Across the Curriculum: Diverse Approaches and Practices. Greenwich, CT: Ablex Publishing Company, 1997.

Young, Art. "Writing Across and Against the Curriculum." CCC 54.3 (February 2003): 472-485.

Woodford, F. Peter, "Sounder Thinking through Clearer Writing." Readings in the Arts and Sciences. Ed. Maimon, Elaine, et al Boston: Little, Brown, and Co, 1984. 321 ­ 329.

Peter Woodford's article is reprinted in one of the first books dedicated toward teaching undergraduates to write in various disciplines. This article is a critique of the tendency of professional scientists to write in an inflated prose style which, thorough examples drawn from his teaching, he maintains leads to misunderstanding on the part of the reader. He calls for more attention to be paid to writing at all stages of the research process and paid to the ways in which graduate students are receive their indoctrination into the writing conventions of their discipline.

Zinsser, William. Writing To Learn. New York: Harper and Row, 1988.

Zinsser has put together an anthology of professional writings from a variety of disciplines including mathematics and the natural sciences. In this anthology, he does close-textural analysis of the styles used in the various disciplines and some of the chapters include discussions with teachers who use writing to learn in their classrooms (most notably the interview with Joan Countryman included in the mathematics chapter.

The following criteria were used to create the content of this bibliography: Handbooks were considered for:

  • What the format included;
  • Who the intended audience was;
  • The inclusion of exercises;
  • The sources for the examples; and
  • Unique features

Exercises were chosen for either:

  • Being unique; or
  • Applicable across a wide-range of class types

The discussions of writing in the classroom were chosen based upon:

  • A desire to include examples from several different disciplines within the natural sciences;
  • An attempt to balance the representation of both positive and negative experiences.

The books and articles on science writing were chosen to represent a variety of perspectives on the relationship of science and writing from both scientist and rhetoric/composition scholars.

Online WAC Resources

For Teachers and Administrators

National Writing Project

The WAC Clearinghouse, Colorado State University

For Students

George Mason University Guides to Writing in the Disciplines

Oregon State University Writing Guides

University of Toronto's Health Sciences Writing Centre