DEL Writing Instructor Publishes New Book

Dan Meltzer, an instructor for the Doctorate in Educational Leadership (DEL) summer course preparing students for the dissertation, recently published a new book on college writing. Assignments across the Curriculum: A National Study of College Writing (Utah State UP, 2014) provides a panoramic view of the kinds of writing assigned in colleges in America. He studied the purposes, audiences, and genres of writing in colleges across the United States by collecting over 2,100 writing assignments from the Internet. Dr. Meltzer found that writing to inform the teacher in short-answer 9395exams made up over half the assignments, and that many instructors are more concerned with perfect grammar than content and critical thinking. However, he also found that courses connected to a Writing Across the Curriculum initiative, such as courses that were part of a “writing-intensive” requirement, required more writing, for a greater variety of purposes and audiences, and in a greater variety of genres. The writing-intensive courses also assigned challenging disciplinary research writing like literature reviews and experimental reports rather than traditional “book report” research papers. The results of his study make a case for the need for more writing and a greater variety of writing in all college courses and for the value of Writing Across the Curriculum initiatives. The book was also featured in a recent Inside Higher Ed article entitled What Students Write.

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