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ERIC Number: ED371362
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Academic Discourse and Academic Service: Composition vs. WAC in the University.
Bergmann, Linda S.
Composition instructors need to explore the idea that the value of the discourse they teach students is not in its similarity to--but rather in its difference from--the discourse of most of the professionally-oriented departments. Scholars in fields as diverse as composition and engineering ascribe profoundly different meanings to "academic discourse." A composition instructor's work in writing across the curriculum showed her, often in embarrassing ways, that she was training her students in first-year composition to do nothing more than write papers for her particular class. In questions like plagiarism and fair use and attributions, the differences among disciplines are profound, since they touch on questions of value and ethics which reveal contradictory assumptions about the nature of knowledge. The compromises composition instructors make or are asked to make to accommodate the teaching of composition to the needs of other disciplines are uneasy (and perhaps unethical), which may explain the tension that often emerges in first year composition. Until composition instructors admit that what they do is useless to professional training as, for instance, the study of literature, they will be harnessed to the team of "academic discourse" and will be judged by their students' performance at modes of discourse that they do not privilege, teach, or fully understand. (Contains four notes.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A