The promise of writing in the disciplines

academic libraryFor many of us who teach writing, we often think about the rhetorical triangle: ethos, pathos, and logos. Although, when speaking to our students, colleagues, or peers, we tend to use the more colloquial terms of speaker/writer, audience/reader, and message/content, and then in terms of genre and purpose. Through these terms, I teach writers what good academic writing is and how it works: about how and why we cite sources, use first- or third-person, active voice, even adverbs.

I first heard of Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) years ago in the K12 context of writing to learn and learning to write to be understood across K12 subjects: social studies, English, mathematics, and science. Undergirding WAC is the understanding that good writing in any subject requires writing to be clear and accessible. In math classes, for example, we asked students to write out the process by which they solved a problem. At the time, this allowed us to zero in on where students struggled and allowed us to give partial credit for a math problem almost solved correctly, but it did not yet have to do with writing well academically in the discursive styles of a specific discipline. But students were learning the mode of what we called “process writing.” [Read more…]

Tip of the Trade: Is it okay to use ‘we’ or ‘I’ when writing for academic audiences?

Scientific writingDuring the TAA webinar, “Principles of Effective Scientific Writing,” Kristin Sainani, associate professor with health research and policy at Stanford University, said that she often gets asked the question: “Is it okay to use ‘we’ or ‘I’ when I’m writing for academic or scientific audiences?”

She said actually, yes, it is: “Editors will encourage you to use ‘we’ or ‘I’ so that you can use the active voice. I think it’s actually a good thing to use ‘we’ and ‘I’ because you are the author taking responsibility for the work that you’ve done and the interpretation you have.”

Watch Kristin’s full TAA webinar. Free for members! Not a member? Join TAA today

Join us for 9/25 TAA Webinar – Principles of Effective Scientific Writing

Kristin SaininiJoin us Thursday, September 25 from 3-4 p.m. ET for the one-hour webinar, “Principles of Effective Scientific Writing,” presented by Kristin Sainani, Associate Professor with Health Research and Policy at Stanford University. Free for Members. Click here to register
. Non-members: Join TAA for only $30.

From writing grants to authoring scientific papers and textbooks, writing is an imperative skill at any stage of one’s career. Sainani will provide practical tips on how to improve your writing abilities. Learn how to: [Read more…]

TAA Upcoming Fall Webinars for Textbook & Academic Authors

Join us for these 60-minute live, interactive sessions that connect you to experts discussing a variety of topics designed especially for textbook and academic authors. Free for members! Join TAA today for only $30.

Nathaniel LambertPublish & Prosper: Strategies for Becoming a More Productive Scholar

Podcast now available in TAA’s Podcast Library

Intended to help you succeed in academia by increasing your scholarly productivity, this webinar provides strategies for getting articles published quickly in reputable research journals. Rather than focusing on the basics of writing about results, this unique webinar, presented by Nathaniel Mark Lambert, Ph.D., author of Publish and Prosper: A Strategy Guide for Students and Researchers provides tips on how to approach research, maintain motivation, maximize productivity, and overcome common pitfalls so as to become a productive scholar. Register [Read more…]