Disciplinary Differences, Rhetorical Resonances: Graduate Writing Groups Beyond the Humanities
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When we first established graduate student writing groups across the curriculum at Ohio University in the summer of 2003, we had several goals and outcomes in mind. Initially, we understood the usefulness of these groups as outreach projects to students and faculty in disciplines outside of English and the humanities–in other words, departments that are not always closely affiliated with our writing center. Second, we had a strong desire to help frustrated and often very lonely graduate research writers gain a greater sense of control and authority over their professional projects. Through our work with graduate students across the curriculum, each of us had noticed the gap in our current system of education where, as Carrie Shively describes, “expertise has been formally separated into domain knowledge and rhetorical knowledge. As a consequence, novices may have access to domain knowledge without access to rhetorical knowledge” (56). Given this separation between domain knowledge and rhetorical knowledge, we realized that graduate student writing groups could serve to bridge this gap between the conventions of discourse that are specific to each discipline and the conventions of writing that exist across different disciplines.