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Exploring College Writing

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Exploring College Writing: Reading, Writing, and Researching across the Curriculum is a rhetoric for first-year and sophomore composition courses that uses a constructivist, ethnographic approach to introducing students to academic reading, writing, and researching. This text will be especially useful to composition instructors who wish to provide students with both a general overview of academic discourse and an introduction to the purposes, audiences, and genres of writing across disciplines. This textbook works from the premise that the best way to initiate students to academic discourse is to have them explore academic literacies using an ethnographic, fieldwork approach to their own institution. Students are cast in the role of researchers, exploring their own experiences as college writers and investigating writing in General Education and in their prospective majors. The book provides instructors and students sequences of engaging and exploratory “Writing to Learn” and “Learn by Doing” activities and formal, extended writing projects that ask students to interview professors, analyze writing assignments, and reflect on their own reading, writing, and researching processes and histories. These writing projects connect to students’ interests, experiences, and goals and provide them with a sense of purpose and audience for writing.

The organization of Exploring College Writing moves students from reflection to investigation. Part I of the book provides a broad introduction to academic reading, writing, and researching and introduces students to the rhetorical situation, genres, and common college thinking and writing strategies. Part I presents students with prompts that ask them to explore the similarities and differences between high school and college literacy and reflect on their own literacy histories. Part II asks students to think critically about their reading, writing, and researching processes and to explore strategies for college reading, writing, and researching processes. Part II includes prompts that ask students to explore college reading, writing, and researching processes and practice academic research and making academic arguments. Part III introduces students to writing across the curriculum and the idea of disciplines and discourse communities. Part III asks students to investigate the reading, writing, and researching assigned in the General Education and major courses at their campus and to consider discipline-specific ways of writing and thinking. Unlike other textbooks Exploring College Writing uses authentic student and professional texts from across disciplines in a variety of genres such as lab reports, scholarly book reviews, ethnographies and case studies to guide and inspire the writing process.

Published: Dec 1, 2011