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Writing across Contexts

Transfer, Composition, and Sites of Writing


Publication Year: 2014

Addressing how composers transfer both knowledge about and practices of writing, Writing across Contexts explores the grounding theory behind a specific composition curriculum called Teaching for Transfer (TFT) and analyzes the efficacy of the approach. Finding that TFT courses aid students in transfer in ways that other kinds of composition courses do not, the authors demonstrate that the content of this curriculum, including its reflective practice, provides a unique set of resources for students to call on and repurpose for new writing tasks.

The authors provide a brief historical review, give attention to current curricular efforts designed to promote such transfer, and develop new insights into the role of prior knowledge in students' ability to transfer writing knowledge and practice, presenting three models of how students respond to and use new knowledge—assemblage, remix, and critical incident.

A timely and significant contribution to the field, Writing across Contexts will be of interest to graduate students, composition scholars, WAC and writing-in-the-disciplines scholars, and writing program administrators.

Published by: Utah State University Press


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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. vii-x

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1. The Content of Composition, Reflective Practice, and the Transfer of Knowledge and Practice in Composition

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pp. 1-36

Since the formation of the field of composition studies in the latter half of the twentieth century, writing faculty have worked to develop writing courses that will help students succeed; indeed, in Joe Harris’s (1996) invocation of the 1966 Dartmouth Conference mantra, composition...

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2. The Role of Curricular Design in Fostering Transfer of Knowledge and Practice in Composition: A Synthetic Review

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pp. 37-59

As we saw in chapter 1, we do know something about students’ transfer of knowledge and practice in writing. We know, for instance, that when students come to college directly from high school, they bring with them some school-supported writing practices and understandings...

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3. Teaching for Transfer (TFT) and the Role of Content in Composition

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pp. 60-102

As explained in the last chapter, while several teacher-scholars have created new curricula designed to support students’ transfer of knowledge and practice in writing, we have yet to fully explore if or how the content in a first-year composition class influences the writing...

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4. How Students Make Use of Prior Knowledge in the Transfer of Knowledge and Practice in Writing

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pp. 103-128

As the previous chapter suggests, one significant factor influencing students is their prior experience. Marta and Emma, for instance, who brought to college very positive writing experiences from high school, continue to draw on that prior knowledge almost mechanically, while...

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5. Upon Reflection

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pp. 129-149

We opened this book, in part, by looking at McCarthy’s (1987) Dave and thinking about how we might help students like Dave make sense of the multiple sites of writing in postsecondary education. Toward that end, we began by reviewing and cross-referencing multiple definitions...

Appendix A: Course Policies and Syllabus

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pp. 150-156

Appendix B: Overview of Major Assignments

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p. 157

Appendix C: Week-by-Week Schedule

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pp. 158-168

Appendix D: Interview Questions

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pp. 169-179


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pp. 180-185

About the Authors

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p. 186


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pp. 187-191

E-ISBN-13: 9780874219388
E-ISBN-10: 0874219388
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874219371
Print-ISBN-10: 087421937X

Page Count: 215
Publication Year: 2014

OCLC Number: 879576336
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Writing across Contexts

Research Areas


Subject Headings

  • English language -- Rhetoric -- Study and teaching (Higher).
  • Report writing -- Study and teaching (Higher).
  • Interdisciplinary approach in education.
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