Writing Program Publications

Student Publications - Information, Forms, and Links

Recent Faculty Publications

Adler-Kassner, Linda and Elizabeth Wardle, eds. Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts in Writing Studies. Utah State UP, forthcoming May 2015.

Using the lens of threshold concepts (Meyer and Land) -- concepts critical for epistemological participation in disciplines -- this text is the first to identify threshold concepts in the field of writing studies and consider both the implication of these concepts and the importance of naming concepts for practice. In the first part of the book, contributors identify 37 threshold concepts of the discipline, beginning with the meta-concept "Writing is an activity and a subject of study." In the second, contributors examine the role that threshold concepts can play in eight specific sites of practice: the development of learning outcomes; first year composition; undergraduate majors; doctoral programs; assessment; writing centers; professional development and outreach; and writing across the curriculum.

Adler-Kassner, Linda. "Liberal Learning, Professional Training, and Disciplnarity in the Age of Educational 'Reform': Remodeling General Education." College English 76.5 (May 2014): 436-457.

There is a tension in general education programs (site of many college composition courses) between liberal learning, professional training, and disicplinary introduction. Inside the academy, this tension has historically been seen as critical. Outside, it is increasingly identified as one of many illustrations of dysfunction. To illustrate, the article examines policy documents describing and coverage of the Common Core Standards and competency-based education. It then proposes that writing and other GE faculty begin redefining GE as "introduction to threshold concepts" as a possible way to reframe both discussions about GE and GE itself.

Converse, Caren Wakerman. (2012, December 8). It's not just the facts, ma'am. [Special issue on Writing Across the Secondary School Curriculum] Across the Disciplines, 9(3).

Writing across the secondary curriculum has been viewed primarily through the lens of traditional academic courses taught in comprehensive high schools. In this paper the author draws on her past experience as a criminal justice teacher at a career and technical high school to describe writing that facilitates and demonstrates learning of subject matter, but also facilitates and demonstrates learning to do and to be. Because CTE students are immersed in a field of their own choosing, the writing they do is more than an add-on; it is accepted as an integral part of what they want to do and the professional they strive to become.

Adler-Kassner, Linda. “The Companies We Keep or The Companies We Would Like to Keep: Strategies and Tactics in Challenging Times.” WPA Journal 36.1 (Fall/Winter 2012): 119-140.

Following a critical anlaysis of organizations and policy groups currently seeking to shape definitions of what students should learn in postsecondary writing courses and how that writing should be assessed, this article outlines three principles from which writing instructors and program directors should work in order to develop and teach courses that reflect the discipline's research-based practices.

Adler-Kassner, Linda, John Majewski, and Damian Koshnick. “The Value of Troublesome Knowledge: Threshold Concepts in Writing and History.” Composition Forum 26 (Fall 2012).

This article addresses an extended discussion about what students learn in (postsecondary) general education courses and how they learn those things. It focuses on student learning within and across two such courses taught by the first two authors -- one in writing and one in history. Drawing on interviews with students and instructors of the history course, it examines core concepts in each and suggests that general education courses might productively focus on such concepts within specific disciplines.

Dean Christopher and Doug Bradley. Terra Incognita: Researching the Weird. Kendall Hunt, 2012.

Elvis is working at a gas station on Route 66! The U.S. faked the moon landing in 1969! This research writing text uses urban legends, conspiracy theories, and downright hoaxes such as these as a centerpiece for research, writing, and critical thinking. This book engages students in analyses of logical fallacies, researching and thinking one's way toward the truth, and researching and writing with clarity and perspective while metacognitively analyzing writing, reading, research, and analytical abilities along the way.