3) Disciplinary Disconnect. When asked what the most positive aspect of the UWR [University Writing Requirement] was, one [department] chair from CEPS wrote,
None. Students need technical writing for success and not exploratory writing.Despite the ambiguity of the term "exploratory writing," one could infer that it points to process-based writing-to-learn procedures such as freewriting, journaling, and drafting. Such techniques tend to delay exactness and preciseness in language, two of the pinnacles of what the respondent above refers to as "technical writing."
Some may disagree with the goals of writing-to-learn and process-writing methodology. However, this comment may point to a wider issue: the disparity between what individual disciplines value as "good writing" and the values espoused by a writing program with roots in composition pedagogy. It is this disparity—what we will refer to as a disciplinary disconnect—that seems prevalent in respondents' perceptions of writing in general and in perceptions of the UWR.
In fact, as some chairs suggested, the genres and forms of writing required in different disciplines—and the way such writing should be taught—vary greatly:
Scientific writing is quite different from composition classes.Spring 2005 Chairs Survey Report
[The needs for writing instruction] depend on the specialization of the department.
University Writing Program University of New Hampshire
Friday, October 12, 2012
from the Chairs Survey at the University of New Hampshire
from the report: