ERIC Number: ED232200
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Discourse Paths of Different Disciplines.
To contribute intelligently to the scholarly debate in their field, students must realize that variations in vocabulary, stylistic conventions and methods of argumentation among different disciplines' literature reveal distinct assumptions about and methods for working within the world. The broad agreement between author and audience on the criteria for evaluating a problem in molecular biology, for example, leads to an emphasis on concrete, precise presentation of evidence. Lacking a common framework for evaluating past and present literature, sociology articles, however, must first persuade readers to accept their method of analyzing problems before presenting evidence. More than understanding the game in which they are operating, students need to see how the rules of the game have changed over time. They need to develop a historical perspective. The shift in perceived tasks in physics articles during this century, for example--from simply presenting data clearly, to arranging data to support a model, to reconciling conflicts between the data and the model--suggests that students need to understand the developing relationship between thought and language so they can reshape language as their own and their discipline's thinking changes. (MM)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Modern Language Association of America (97th, Los Angeles, CA, December 27-30, 1982).