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ERIC Number: EJ1116284
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Mar-29
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1554-8244
Conducting Research in the Gray Space: How Writing Associates Negotiate between WAC and WID in an Introductory Biology Course
Gladstein, Jill
Across the Disciplines, v5 spec iss Mar 2008
With more frequency, writing associates (WA) are being placed into courses where the goals for writing include learning to write for a particular discipline. As WAC directors we negotiate the different expectations from professors and students that exist within this context. This article introduces a two-year case study of an introductory biology course where WAs are a required resource for helping students learn the genre of lab reports. The study uncovers how the mixture of expectations from the different participants pushes the WA into murky waters and that our attempts to provide clarity through the presentation of binaries may be adding to the murkiness. Using ethnographic methods and a coding rubric, the study sets out to uncover how peer tutors can help students develop their writing process in science. In particular, this article raises the question as to whether WAs should remain generalists or whether they need to become specialists when they are used as a required resource in a WID course. This article argues that by positioning the WAs as both generalists and specialists and by providing a space for them to blend the core principles of WAC with the goals of WID, we transform the gray spaces located within these binaries into symbiotic spaces where the students, faculty, WAs, and writing program feed off of each other to create a cycle of inquiry and dialogue.
WAC Clearinghouse. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. Tel: 970-491-3132; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A