Philosophies of WAC/WID - NIU - Writing Across the Curriculum

Philosophy of WAC/WID

Philosophy of WAC/WID

The 2008-09 National Survey of Student Engagement teamed up with the National Council of Writing Program Administrators. They found that students from 157 universities and colleges said they learn most when their writing assignments:

  1. Encourage interaction (peer reviews, teacher feedback, writing center visits)
  2. Require authentic meaning-making & communication (synthesis of information directed at a specific audience)
  3. Provide clear expectations (content & scope, organization & development, engagement & choice) 

For practical purposes, the philosophy of WAC/WID can be succinctly expressed in the following premises:

Premises of Writing Across the Curriculum

  1. Writing is a complex activity, and writing problems are numerous and varied.
  2. Writing is a process as well as a product.
  3. Writing is a learning activity as well as a communications activity.
  4. Writing helps students learn the content of a field.
  5. Writing helps students learn the communication patterns within a discourse community.
  6. Students learn to write well by writing in localized contexts and by receiving responses from writers within those contexts.

Premises of Writing in the Disciplines

  1. Writing is a practice.
  2. Writing expectations and performances are discipline specific.
  3. Much of what an accomplished writer knows about writing remains tacit.
  4. Tacit knowledge is communicated through apprenticeship.