Writing in the Discipline
1. In what ways is writing important to your profession?
The Liberal Studies program is an interdisciplinary major in which students work with an advisor to select their major courses from among those offered by departments across the college. No matter which disciplines in math, science, arts, humanities, or social sciences are focused upon, the student will need to acquire appropriate modes and strategies of writing for those fields. In the final project produced in LIBS 461, the student brings together knowledge, research strategies, and appropriate forms of communication from a variety of disciplines.
2. Which courses are designated as satisfying the WID requirement by your department? Why these courses?
LIBS 461 is the WID course for Liberal Studies. In this capstone course, the student draws on and extends the knowledge gained in previous courses to prepare an interdisciplinary project, which will typically be a paper of approximately 25 pages length.
In addition to LIBS461, Liberal Studies majors may take one or more WID courses as part of the courses they must take from across the five disciplinary areas.
3. What forms or genres of writing will students learn and practice in your department’s WID courses? Why these genres?
LIBS 461 is taught as an independent study. The student works closely with an instructor selected for their expertise in areas related to the student’s interests. Depending on the project, one or two additional faculty members may be brought in as readers for the project. Because of the interdisciplinary focus, projects will vary from student to student, as will the forms and genres of writing employed. For instance, one student may write a traditional social science research paper, another may write an economic analysis of an industry, and another may engage in a creative writing project. Whatever the project, the student will be required to draw on multiple disciplines in their writing.
4. What kinds of teaching practices will students encounter in your department’s WID courses?
Because LIBS 461 is taught as an independent study, the specific teaching practices will vary from project to project. In most cases, however, students will work closely with their designated instructor, who will guide them through the various stages of the writing and research process (i.e. topic selection, drafting, revision, editing, publication, etc.).
5. When they’ve completed your department’s WID requirement, what should students know and be able to do with writing?
Students will be able to draw on insights from different fields and integrate them into a deeper understanding of an issue, question, or phenomenon.