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Writing in the Disciplines

The University Writing Program offers a variety of discipline-specific writing courses, many listed as ENC 3254, which can be repeated with a change of content for up to 6 credits. Prerequisite: ENC 1101 or equivalent credit.

Classes focus on the technical and stylistic conventions of specific disciplines and cover major elements of organizational communication with emphasis on composition of reports, proposals, letters and memos, manuals, graduate school application essays, and oral presentations. Most of the individual sections focus on writing in a single area.

Objectives & Outcomes

By the end of a Writing in the Disciplines course, students will be able to:

  • plan, draft, revise, edit, and proofread discipline-specific papers (research reports and/or review papers)
  • develop research or clinical projects using critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • identify and write to specific audiences
  • develop academic research skill using the library and research databases
  • summarize, analyze, and synthesize academic sources
  • participate in groups as peer reviewers and/or collaborators
  • accurately cite and incorporate primary literature materials

ENC 3246, Professional Communication for Engineers

Designed to help students master a variety of communication strategies and genres of writing relevant to engineering. Composing email, memos, letters, technical descriptions, instructions, academic research reports, and professional proposals, students respond to complex rhetorical situations, thus preparing for work in their professional communities.

ENC 3254, Writing in the Disciplines (by topic)

Professional Communication

Professional Communication is the most general of the ENC 3254 courses and is appropriate for any major. This class is designed to help students master a variety of communication strategies and genres of writing relevant to professional settings. The focus is primarily on the composition and design of complex documents such as memos, proposals, instructions, and formal reports using collaborative writing skills and the communication strategies developed throughout the course.

Writing in the Humanities

Exploring texts from the disciplines of art, theatre, dance, music, film, architecture, and literature, students learn to write several types of academic papers important to the humanities: summary, evaluation, analysis, argument, and research. In this course, students become more confident and effective writers, readers, and thinkers though the exciting experience of discussing some of the greatest humanities works produced in the last 120 years.

Professional Communication in Building Construction

Designed specifically for students majoring in Building Construction, this course will strengthen communications skills needed for success in the construction field. Students will learn to write documents important to the construction industry (proposals, requests for information, scope narratives, memos, letters, project summaries, etc.), as well as documents that will be important to their individual careers (résumés and application letters). The course will also focus on oral communication skills by providing practical experiences through mock interviews and team presentations.

Speaking and Writing for Premedical Students

An examination of communication in the medical profession. Students learn to do research using medical databases and other research tools, while discovering how best to organize and present their findings to medical professionals and patients. Students will also participate in a variety of speaking assignments in class, ranging from impromptu to prepared presentations, developing techniques for improving public speaking, interviewing and listening skills, and patient-doctor communication.

Thesis for Science

Formerly called Writing in the Neurobiological Sciences, this course students will discover that just as good science stresses method as well as results, so does good writing require both clear style and sound content. We will examine exemplary articles in the field to evaluate their strategies, in order that you may put those strategies into practice in your own writing. Major assignments include a review article, an experimental research paper (thesis version and publication version), a non-specialist paper, a brief grant proposal, and a poster presentation.

Writing for Pre-Law

Designed to be, in large part, a practical workshop on the most common forms of legal writing, this course explores the character and logic of legal communication in general. Students write legal briefs, a legal memorandum, business correspondence, and law school applications and are introduced to legal research and moot court debate.

Writing for Premedical Students

Students will practice communication in the medical profession. Students learn to do research using medical databases and other research tools, while discovering how best to organize and present their findings to medical professionals and patients. Students will also participate in a variety of speaking assignments in class, ranging from impromptu to prepared presentations, developing techniques for improving public speaking, interviewing and listening skills, and patient-doctor communication. Collaborative writing and presenting is also required so students practice working in teams, typical of medical practice.

Writing in Anthropology

(Also offered as ANT 3860 through the Anthropology Department.) Familiarizes students with the writing conventions of the discipline, preparing them for upper-division and graduate courses in anthropology. Despite a general commonality of purpose in the field, the writing styles and conventions of the discipline diverge in the four major areas of study: physical anthropology, cultural studies, linguistics, and archeology. While some assignments in the course will be generally applicable to any student of anthropology, other assignments will be tailored to the needs of individuals.

Writing in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Designed to improve the student’s writing skills in areas essential to a career in CSD, this course focuses on three types of writing used in graduate school and in the CSD profession: personal, research, and clinical. The syllabus has been developed in collaboration with CSD faculty and targets specific writing skills identified by faculty members.

Writing in the Health Professions

Communication skills are essential in every profession, but the Health Professions boast the greatest complexity and variety of audiences. The well-being of human lives depends on clear and accurate messages, whether the audience is a patient, colleague, staff member, or caregiver. To better prepare you for the challenge of successful professional communication, Writing in the Health Professions targets the three main audiences of the Health Provider: other professionals; patients and clients; and the public. For each of these audiences, you will learn the writing techniques and practices that best ensure your message is understood. Since this is a 6K Writing and Composition class, we’ll be concentrating on written communication, though you’ll find many of the principles of communication in writing are true for spoken exchanges as well. The goal of this class is to prepare you for your upper-division course work as well as build a foundation for communication in your chosen field.

Writing in History

As both a social science and an art, few disciplines require so much of writing; not only must writing in history be clear and organized, but it should also evince an understated elegance so as to draw the reader into a narrative of people, places and events, artfully breathing life into the past. Students are encouraged to explore the various writing styles in history, but more importantly, they are led to develop their own style through reading and writing assignments.

Writing in the Physical Sciences

This course is designed to improve writing and speaking skills necessary to the success of the physical scientist, both in graduate school and in the workplace. Students learn advanced library research, correct documentation, stylistic conventions for their major fields, and how to present research effectively. Students involved in a research project may continue that research using it to fulfill certain writing and speaking requirements. Students not currently conducting research will have an opportunity to investigate an area in of special interest.

Writing in Political Science

Writing in Political Science was developed in collaboration with the UF Political Science faculty and covers specific writing skills identified by those faculty members. The class was designed to improve writing skills in areas essential to careers and graduate work in political science or a professional school. The course helps students develop research skills that go hand-in-hand with writing in the discipline. Students will investigate and research a political issue that is important to them. Throughout the semester assignments will reflect the kinds of writing expected of undergraduate and graduate students but in their particular interest area. In addition, students will have an opportunity to present and discuss research with their peers. ENC 3254 confers General Education Composition, Gordon rule, and 3 credit hours towards the political science major.

Writing in Psychology

Students learn to be psychologists by learning to read and write like psychologists. To accomplish this goal, students will learn and practice the key genres of writing in the psychology, including proposals, literature reviews, and research reports. In addition, students will conduct original research and prepare a poster presentation sharing that research with social science peers in a multi-class “conference”.

Writing in Sociology

(Also offered as SYA 4506 through the Sociology Department.) Stressing the relationship between clear, simple prose and thoughtful scientific analysis, this course develops a wide range of communication skills, from paragraph formation and sentence structure to advanced aspects of argumentation, essay organization, and audience, all within the context of research in the social sciences. Reviews of literature, ethnographic field research, and quantitative research will be explored in practical workshops.