Writing in the Disciplines

A discipline is a field of study. Academic study and college departments are often organized around a single discipline, such as business, political science, biology, or nursing. This article gives an overview of several critical forms of writing that you will need to master in your academic and professional career.

Writing in the Disciplines is important because:

  • Writing is not a "generic" skill that is the same in all areas.
  • Writing is always specific to a context.
  • Writing is a form of professionalization.

The teaching of writing in colleges and universities tends to focus on academic essays and research papers. Writing in the disciplines, on the other hand, refers to writing assignments tailored to the genres of a specific discipline or field. For instance, a science course might require students to write a lab report, while a sociology course might assign a case study. It helps make writing assignments more meaningful by connecting them to real-world situations. It also helps improve career readiness by aligning writing instruction with the types of writing that students will be expected to produce in the workforce.

Writing in the disciplines overlaps with modes of writing that are used in the workplace. For instance, a nursing course might have students practice writing a care plan or SOAP notes in preparation for clinical work, while an economics course might assign a business report or market analysis. In both cases, students are learning to write genres that are relevant to real-world industries and careers. Business writing can be thought of as a problem-solving activity in which individuals may address the following questions:

  • What is the situation?
  • What are some possible communication strategies?
  • What is the best course of action?
  • What is the best way to design the chosen message?
  • What is the best way to deliver the message?


Excelsior Online Writing Lab (OWL), https://owl.excelsior.edu/writing-in-the-disciplines/
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University of Minnesota, https://www.oercommons.org/courses/basics-of-written-business-communication/view
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 License.

Source: World Learning, https://youtu.be/oICQ4oCCnpM
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Last modified: Wednesday, April 3, 2024, 1:03 PM