Writing Centers, writing-intensive courses, “linked” courses, portfolios, the writing process, peer critiquing, collaborative learning, journals—all have resulted from the Writing Across the Curriculum movement, or WAC, which has literally transformed approaches to teaching writing. Begun in the 1960s in Great Britain with researchers who studied composing processes of school children, the WAC movement in the United States takes many forms on college campuses but includes at least some of the above features.
One of the main tenets of WAC is that students need to write literally “across the curriculum”—that is, in courses other than English. Indeed, many faculty now accept the responsibility to teach all students, but especially their majors, how to write according to the particular conventions of their disciplines.
you can expect to tutor students who are writing in disciplines unfamiliar
to you. What can you do to help these students?
suggest that your best options are either to find
someone else to work with the student, or to discover that you suddenly
have a pressing engagement elsewhere! These people say that the best you
can do is to help with surface-level features: grammar, punctuation, and
spelling. However, other researchers point out that you may be the very
best person to help such a student. As one unfamiliar with the content,
you can tell the writer if the purpose of the paper and organization are
clear, if any places confuse you, and/or if you need more information to
understand a point. Since most undergraduate papers are written to a
general rather than to a specialized audience, you are the perfect person
to provide feedback.