New Resource Database for Disciplinary Writing

Creative Commons: spike55151

In collaboration with McGill Libraries  and McGill Teaching and Learning Services, WID is now particpating in the development of a database of resources for disciplinary writing and writing instruction in higher education.
The creation of this database is one facet of the Inquiry Network, a McGill TLS initiative led by Marcy Slapcoff.  The Inquiry Network connects faculty from across McGill who are interested in developing opportunities for undergaduate research in their courses.  Discussions on this topic moved naturally to the topic of writing in the disciplines, and McGill librarian Katherine Hanz offered her services to provide a foundational reading list of current research on disciplinary thinking and writing.
WID @ Dawson already offers an extensive list of general and discipline-specific articles on the Resources page of this site.  This new list has a host of items published since the last update of our Resources, so it is a very welcome addition.
Click here to browse a preliminary version of the Inquiry Network Writing in the Disciplines Reading List .   Currently the list only offers electronic access through the McGill portal; however, numerous items are located on EBSCO or Jstor, and should be searchable within the Dawson library databases.  WID plans to have all items available in house by August 2013.  If you would like one or several items in advance of the Fall semester but can’t locate them on your own, WID will be happy to email you an electronic copy directly.  Contact Ian MacKenzie for more information.

Call for Applicants: Faculty Writing Fellows Fall 2013

 Do you have a keen interest in writing in your discipline?  Would you like to use writing and active learning strategies more effectively in your courses?


The WID Faculty Writing Fellows project offers six faculty members the opportunity to review research on writing in their disciplines, and to develop instructional strategies that foster student learning in disciplinary reasoning and communication.  Applicants should be interested in providing departmental or program leadership in curricular and instructional innovation.  Participants will receive the equivalent of one section of course release, and will work independently, online, and in a bi-weekly seminar toward the following objectives:


  • Examine the conventions of reasoning and communication specific to different disciplines

  • Reflect on attitudes and assumptions regarding student learning and writing

  • Review current research on critical thinking, active learning and writing instruction in higher education

  • Explore innovative approaches to exploratory “writing to learn” activities; to assignment design that enhances student engagement; and to effective modes of feedback and evaluation


Participants publish teaching portfolios of their work in these areas at


To apply, please submit via email a letter that outlines 1) your interest in writing and communication in your discipline, and 2) how you see your work in WID advancing awareness of writing and communication in your department or program.  Your application must be received by Lisa Steffen <lsteffen> by Friday, March 22, 2013.  Please notify your department chairperson of your application.  Positions are available only for teachers with a full-time day teaching load.


Questions?  Contact Ian MacKenzie (WID Co-director, English), Anne Thorpe (WID Co-director, Humanities and English), Ben Lander (History), or Lisa Steffen (History)


McGill Workshop on Research Writing, Friday March 15 — Spaces Available for Dawson Faculty

The workshop detailed below takes place on Friday March 15, from 1-3 p.m.  McGill Teaching and Learning Services is making a limited number of spaces available to WID@ Dawson — let us know first if you would like to participate, and then follow the link to register with TLS at McGill directly.

The research paper: Engaging students with the writing process

The research (term) paper is one of the core assignments we give undergraduate students, allowing them to reflect on meaningful questions and develop their own scholarly voices. Yet the results do not always meet our expectations. In this workshop, we will explore how to design assignments that engage students and encourage them to develop their critical thinking skills. We will consider alternative approaches to structuring the research paper assignment and discuss ways to evaluate that are not overly time-consuming. Please bring the instructions that you provide students for a research (term) paper assignment (e.g., from a course outline, a handout), so that you can work on it during the workshop.

Date: Friday, March 15, 2013

Time: 1:00 to 3:00pm

Location: McGill downtown campus, Birks Building, Rm. 111 (click here to view map)


Click here to register