Sunday, December 22, 2013

Book Review: Engaged Writers & Dynamic Disciplines

Authors: Christopher Thaiss and Terry Myers Zawacki
Title: Engaged Writers and Dynamic Disciplines: Research on the Academic Writing Life
Description : This book is based on a study of writing in the disciplines. Specifically, how much leeway do writers (both professors and students) have in genre when they are writing in a discipline? How free are writers to push the boundaries of standard disciplinary expectations? Do professors encourage it or frown upon it—and how much do they do it in their own writing?
Writing style: The book is based on the results of an academic study, but it’s quite readable.
Audience: This book is geared toward academics, specifically those who are interested in Writing in the Disciplines.
Major ideas: Most disciplines allow, if not encourage, non-standard writing for certain reasons. This varies by discipline, but as long as there were solid (i.e. rhetorical) reasons for variation, a surprising amount of variation from the standard academic genres goes on.
Wrap-up: If you’re the intended audience, I recommend this book. Many of us aren’t there yet with our students (it’s pretty accepted that first you learn the boundaries of writing in the disciplines, and then you can push them), but it’s fun to imagine what might happen down the road. 3.5/5*

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