Writing in the Discipline
1. Why or in what ways is writing important to your discipline/field/profession?
Writing is an essential activity to the disciplines of psychology and Chemical Dependency and Addiction Studies (CDAS). Scholars in these disciplines need to demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between psychological theory, research design, and the appropriate interpretation of data. Writing is also an essential means of communicating psychological information to both other scholars and the public.
2. Which courses are designated as satisfying the WID requirement by your department? Why these courses?
There are two courses students in the Psychology and CDAS programs must take to satisfy the WID requirement:
- Research Methods I (Psyc 221)
- Research Methods III (Psyc 473-477)
Research Methods I and III were selected as they bookend a student’s research trajectory within the major. In Research Methods I, students learn the foundation of research design, and learn the basics of APA formatting style. In Research Methods III, students build on the skills learned in Research Methods I and II and apply their research methods and analysis skills to larger projects. Research Methods III provides a capstone experience and is where students demonstrate skills learned across the major.
3. What forms or genres of writing will students learn and practice in your department’s WID courses? Why these genres?
Students will engage in research writing consistent with psychological research, which involves research questions and hypotheses, data and methods, analyzing quantitative and/or qualitative data, and making scientific conclusions based on theory and data. These genres are consistent with psychological science and will prepare students to participate in the discipline as both producers and consumers of research.
4. What kinds of teaching practices will students encounter in your department’s WID courses?
Students will engage in multiple writing assignments across each course, receiving instructor feedback and opportunities to apply the feedback along the way. Assignments in Research Methods I may include summarizing and critiquing journal articles, describing results of literature searches, or learning how to write hypotheses. In Research Methods III, students are required to plan a study, analyze data, and write a report using APA style. Instructors may utilize many teaching techniques including lecture, discussions, small-group work, peer-review of writing, and scaffolded assignments.
5. When they’ve satisfied your department’s WID requirement, what should students know and be able to do with writing?
Students should know that writing is an iterative process—we get better at writing the more we do it; feedback and revision matter, and our writing improves as our reading increases. They should also know that participating in the discipline as producers, readers, and teachers of psychology involves a familiarity with psychological writing, the ability to communicate psychology in written form, and a familiarity with psychological research design.