Science Writing and the Writing Center: Tutorial Models

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Joyce Kinkead


University students typically complete lower-division writing courses and then move into writing in their majors, known as writing-in-the-discipline, which has specific conventions for the field. Students may not readily transfer their skill set from the foundation writing courses to their major subject and also need instruction in the field-specific writing conventions. This report, composed by Samantha Latham as part of a research project in English 6810, demonstrates the role that the writing center plays in helping students transfer these writing skills and improve their writing in the discipline. After studying writing center pedagogy and discipline specific writing centers at other universities, potential tutorial models to help students with skill set transfer and writing in the disciplines are identified as: status quo model with integrated discipline specific training, a satellite writing center housed in the biology department, online tutoring with integrated discipline specific training, or discipline specific writing labs/workshops. This presentation outlines these tutorial models which can not only improve the effectiveness of writing across the curriculum/writing in the disciplines program, but also improve students understanding of the concepts in their science courses.

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