WRAC, Rauscher

Project 3: Disciplinary Literacy
Purpose: The disciplinary literacy project allows you to continue engaging effective invention, arrangement, revision, style, and delivery practices. It also introduces you to the ways that research and participating in important academic discussions prepare you to use literacy in successful ways across the kinds of writing situations you will find yourself in in higher education, and perhaps beyond. Different academic disciplines have different ways of presenting and analyzing information, different ways of building knowledge, and different ways of presenting knowledge in written forms. This paper gives you the opportunity to begin building your own understanding of how writing, reading, and researching operate within a discipline of interest to you. Your purpose in this essay is to give students who are new to the academic discipline you have chosen an introduction to some of the expectations in that discipline. You may examine any discipline for this project, your major or a major about which you are curious. Audience: Students who are new to the academic discipline. Objectives o Demonstrate the ability to locate, critically evaluate, and employ a variety of sources for a range of purposes. o Practice in processes of inquiry, forming and asking questions, revising questions, and seeking answers. o Gather knowledge about a field of study in which you are interested, thereby helping you fix on a field of study that is right for you. Procedure: Engage in at least the following activities: o Analysis of at least three (3) scholarly articles from that discipline. The three sources listed below are required. You may also incorporate other sources into the essay, including documents of any type.  Examine at least one document in which a professional in the field is addressing other professionals. (Scholarly journal article or trade journal article. Also possibly a chapter from a book intended for professionals)  Examine at least one document in which an expert in the field is addressing a more general audience, or an audience of beginners in the field. (Section from a textbook, or possibly an article from a trade journal or professional website)  Examine at least one document not written by an expert in the field, and intended for a more general audience. (Magazine or newspaper article written by a journalist. The journalist will probably report on what experts said.)

WRAC, Rauscher

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Arrange your material in a way that addresses a sequence of related questions concerning your issue. Your analysis should consider the sources of your information and what might influence the way the information was covered and the perspective taken on the information. For instance, how close is the writer of a particular article to this issue? Does the writer have a particular stake in the issue? Why does the writer of the piece want to address this particular audience (whether it’s an audience of experts or novices, or the general public)? Why does this audience need to know about the issue? How was the coverage of the issue suited to the concerns of the intended audience? You must interview at least one expert in the field about this issue. This needs to be a live interview. You are not allowed to conduct an e-mail interview (which is not really an interview, if you look at the definition of “interview.”) A phone interview or Skype interview would be permissible. Be sure to study Ballenger’s suggestions in The Curious Researcher text, beginning on page 84 for suggestions about how to conduct an interview. Also youtube.com has a variety of videos that might be helpful—but be choosy. We have already composed questions for the interview in class. You may use those. Below are some more sample questions from which you may choose to ask about your discipline:  What do reading, writing, and researching practices look like in your discipline?  What other literacies are important within your discipline?  What are three questions besides those above you want to know about your discipline?  What were your expectations about your discipline prior to investigating it through this assignment? Were they met or were you surprised by something?  Ethics and your field. (What character qualities will you need to develop as a professional in this field? What ethical challenges might you face? You might address one central ethical concern or a particular range of ethical concerns)  Happiness and your field. (What are the sources of happiness for people who work in your field? What are the obstacles to happiness for people who work in your field?)  Communication issues in your field. (How do people in your field communicate with one another and with other professionals? How do people in your field communicate with the general public? Will you need to communicate with people from different backgrounds? What might you need to learn in order to communicate effectively with these people? Are there ethical issues involved in communication?)  The history of your field. (The evolution of your field and important issues in its development. Questions raised in the course of its development. Disagreements & battles fought. Ethical dimensions of the field’s history.)  Present challenges in your field (Puzzles, disagreements, ethical issues)  Future visions for your field (Where might the profession be headed? What might influence it to go this way?)

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WRAC, Rauscher You must survey a group. I suggest that you survey a group of seniors or graduate students in your field. You will have to inquire of the department office about how to contact them. Be sure to study Ballenger’s suggestions in The Curious Researcher text, beginning on page 93 for instructions on how to conduct a survey. Also youtube.com has a variety of videos that might be helpful—but be choosy.

Delivery: o Written in a mix of 1st and 3rd (I, we; he/she/one, they/the) person. AVOID 2ND PERSON! (you). Whichever you choose, 1st or 3rd, I suggest sticking with plural forms (we, they). That way you avoid concerns about using he or she and also avoid inconsistent pronoun tense use, such as, “A student [1st person singular] often doesn’t understand that their [3rd person plural] future depends very much on the choices made today.” o 6-8 pages long, double-spaced, 11 or 12 point-font, one-inch margins. o Three images with captions and credits; these do not count toward the page requirement. o The format of your paper and your sources should be properly documented in APA style. o Use the Owl at Purdue online APA Formatting and Style Guide http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/