Writing in the Disciplines
Southeast approaches writing in the disciplines (WID) differently from many other
institutions. While other institutions have designated WID courses, Southeast integrates
writing throughout the General Education program on the basis of the written communication
Some faculty may be more familiar with the term "writing across the curriculum" (WAC). Many
WAC models, however, delegate the teaching of all writing skills to an English department
or to a WAC program. In these models, students rarely learn how to write from experts
in the various disciplines. In a WID model, however, writing instruction is disseminated
throughout the curriculum and the various departments and programs at an institution. Therefore,
because Southeast's WID program is integrated in all General Education courses, all
Southeast faculty are responsible for writing instruction.
Professional Development Opportunities
The Center for Writing Excellence now offers WID professional development opportunities
through the Speakers Series and Breakfast/Lunch workshops.
Area professionals visit campus to discuss the role of writing in their careers. Speakers
share their personal experiences with writing, the types of writing that are expected
of employees, and job trends that involve written communication.
Past Presentations include:
- “Writing and Marketing,” presented by Charlie Wirtel, store manager of the Buckle,
explored the role of written communication in marketing. This event was held in the
University Center Indian Room, Tuesday, September 25, 2018. Mr. Wirtel discussed the
importance of communication in his profession and emphasized the important—yet often
under-used—tradition of writing simple thank you notes.
- “Writing and Engineering,” presented by Brian Richardson, engineer and project leader
with Boeing, explored the role of written communication in engineering. This event
was held in Dempster Hall, Friday, November 16, 2018.
- “The Role of Writing in My Career,” presented by Jay Knudtson, former Cape Girardeau
mayor and president of Southeast’s Board of Regents, as well as current vice president
of First Missouri State Bank. The event was held in the University Center Program
Lounge, Tuesday, April 9, 2019. Mr. Knudtson offered an engaging overview of his personal
journey with writing and the role of written communication in his career.
Southeast faculty lead workshops to share writing techniques and to discuss the role
of writing within specific disciplines. Faculty workshop participants learn innovative
practices that they can integrate into the classroom.
Past presentations include:
- “Integrity in the Classroom,” presented by Dr. Sally Carter, director of Testing Services.
This event was held in the University Center Heritage Room, Tuesday, August 28, 2018.
Dr. Carter shared the importance of integrity and classroom activities for defining
and building integrity.
- “Responding to Student Work,” presented by Dr. Missy Nieveen Phegley, professor and
director of Composition and Assessment in the English department. This event was held
in the University Center Redhawks Room, Wednesday, October 17, 2018. Dr. Phegley provided
tips for responding to student writing in a way that offers both support to the student
and constructive critiques for improvement.
- “Writing to Learn: Structuring the Semester for Student Success,” presented by Dr.
Sandra Cox, assistant professor in the English department. This event was held in
Memorial Hall room 103, Wednesday, January 30, 2019. Dr. Cox shared the concept of
scaffolding assignments to assist students through semester-long assignments.
- “Now You’re Writing My Language,” presented by Dr. Sarah Dietrich, assistant professor
in the English department. This event was held in the University Center Heritage room,
Thursday, October 3. Dr. Dietrich offered a unique perspective of written communication
in an American university through a non-native English-speaker’s lens.
- “Straight from the Horse’s Mouth: Primary Sources in Special Collections and Archives,
Kent Library,” presented by Dr. Joni Hand, associate professor of Art History with
the Department of Art and Design. This event was held in the Rare Book Room, Kent
Library, Friday, November 8. Dr. Hand selected several pieces from the Charles Luce
Harrison Collection and shared her research on the role each served in the history
of written communication.
Writing Assignment Checklist
Does the Assignment Include the Following?
- Goal of this assignment for student learning relevant to this course (review previous
knowledge, build new knowledge, show understanding, synthesize material, etc.?)
- Topic and thesis
- Instructions for the assignment (use explicit language like “explain” or “compare
and contrast” rather than “consider” or “discuss”).
- Who the audience is -- their interest, background, and needs
- Sequencing and deadlines, and policy on late work
- Sources and documentation required, and policies on quotation, citation, and plagiarism
- Minimum and maximum length, and policy on work not conforming to these
- Format and method of submission
- Your specific preferences or pet peeves – e.g. “Avoid passive voice”
- Scoring rubric
- Examples of student work on similar assignments receiving a range of grades
Alternatives to Term Papers
Alternatives - Lawrence U. Library
Ferris State University