Writing in the Disciplines (WID)

Writing in the Disciplines (WID) grew out of the recognition that while some aspects of academic writing are common across academic fields (e.g., that claims should be appropriately supported and sources properly cited), there are major differences as well. Because academic writing is not one thing, it cannot be taught generically. So, if our students are to become better writers, and if they are to learn how to better employ writing as a learning tool, they will need to be instructed from within particular disciplines.

The primary aim of the WID program is to support our faculty in all aspects of their work with student writing, from consulting on assignment design or developing a new W-coded course to offering workshops on giving feedback and grading.

Goals of Duke's WID Courses

While a WID course should help students become more proficient writers in a general sense, it should also help them understand how writing works in the discipline--what writing does. This might include helping students understand the purpose, mechanics and conventions of a particular form (e.g., the scientific research report, the history review, or the business case study), what scholars in the field consider legitimate evidence (e.g., government documents, literary quotations, or geologic core samples), or how scholars select or create problems to write about.