The University of Nevada, Reno’s program in Writing and Speaking in the Disciplines is here to help you think about effective and creative ways to incorporate writing assignments into your courses. Our program draws on the concept of a thoroughly integrated curriculum, which also reflects the design of the Silver Core. In this model, in the foundational composition classes (English 101 and 102), students are asked to reflect on how writing can change depending on the academic, public, or disciplinary genres it is meant for. The learning outcomes of these “builds” courses lay preliminary groundwork for students to continue their writing development in their major. Next, the “develops” courses that exist in the majors introduce students more specifically to disciplinary genre conventions and the diverse written work - broadly defined - that is practiced in their chosen fields. Finally, the “integrates” course asks students to apply what they’ve been learning about writing throughout their university experience.
To support faculty in all disciplines in developing writing assignments and tasks throughout their curriculum, in the gap between the “builds” and the “integrates” courses. This disciplinary writing instruction doesn’t have to be done all on one course. Following research on best practices in writing instruction, our philosophy is that when students experience writing instruction even in short bursts throughout the curriculum (rather than only in 101 and again in the capstone), they are more prepared to meet the learning outcomes of the major, as well as the University’s primary core objectives.
To help develop, enhance and make more efficient the writing instruction done throughout curricula, we at Writing and Speaking in the Disciplines provide the following services:
- Consultations for individual or groups of faculty looking to develop writing in their courses – from short, low-stakes exercises to major writing projects (including digital and multimodal projects)
- Workshops and resources for teachers to support writing instruction in all disciplines (including ways to grade and respond to students’ writing efficiently and effectively)
- Awards for the innovative writing assignments and teaching with writing that’s happening throughout the campus community
- Cross-disciplinary research projects focused on writing across the curriculum and in the disciplines