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Writing in the Disciplines

Writing in the Disciplines

A Reader and Rhetoric Academic for Writers
7th Edition

Mary Kennedy, William Kennedy

Jan 2012, Paperback, 640 pages
ISBN13: 9780205726622
ISBN10: 0205726623
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This rhetoric/anthology instructs college students in how to read academic texts with understanding and how to use them as sources for papers in a variety of disciplines.

In Writing in the Disciplines, Mary Kennedy and William Kennedy emphasize academic writing as ongoing conversations in multiple genres, and do so in the context of WPA Outcomes. The rhetoric chapters teach critical reading, paraphrasing, summarizing, quoting, writing process, synthesizing, analyzing, researching, and developing arguments. The anthology balances journal articles with works by public intellectuals in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

Brief Contents



Part I: Reading and Writing in the Academic Disciplines

Chapter 1: Active Critical Reading

Academic Reading-Writing Process

Conversation with the Texts

Active Critical Reading

Keeping a Writer’s Notebook


Preview the Text and Ask Questions that Will Help You Set Goals for Close Reading

Use Freewriting and Brainstorming to Recall Your Prior Knowledge and Express Your Feelings about the Reading


Close Reading

Mark, Annotate, and Elaborate on the Text

Take Effective Notes

Pose and Answer Questions about the Text

Reading for Genre, Organization, and Stylistic Features



Stylistic Features

Rhetorical Context of Text

Rhetorical Context of Your Reading

Analyze Writing Assignments

Chapter 2: Responses, Paraphrases, Summaries, and Quotations

Write an Informal Response

Convert Informal Response to Response Essay




Altering Quotations

Weaving Quotations into Your Essay

Chapter 3: Critical Analysis

Part I: Critical Analysis

Focus of the Chapter

Adopting a Questioning Frame of Mind

Types of Analyses You Will Be Asked to Write

Importance of Genre Knowledge

Approaches to Analysis

Purpose of Critical Analysis

Critical Analysis and the Academic Conversation

*Examination of “Dry Your Eyes: Examining the Role of Robots for Childcare Applications,” by David Feil-Seifer and Maja

J. Mataric’s Critical Analysis of Noel Sharkey and Amanda Sharkey’s, “The Crying Shame of Robot Nannies: An

Ethical Appraisal”

Part II: Writing a Critical Analysis: A Detailed Demonstration of Reading-Writing Process

Critical Reading



Revising the Preliminary Draft


Student’s Critical Analysis Essay: Final Draft

Chapter 4: Literary Analysis and Comparative Analysis

Literary Analysis

Process of Writing a Literary Analysis

Comparative Analysis

Incorporate Comparative Analysis into Longer Essays

Stand-Alone Comparative Analysis of Texts

Process of Writing a Comparative Analysis of Texts

Sample Comparative Analysis Essay

A Brief Word About Other Types of Analysis Essays

Rhetorical Analysis

Process Analysis

Casual Analysis

Chapter 5: Visual Analysis

Principles of Visual Analysis

Portfolio of Photographs

Overview of Visual Analysis

Process of Writing a Visual Analysis Essay


Viewing for Content

Viewing for Genre, Organization, and Stylistic Features

Viewing for Rhetorical Context

Chapter 6: Synthesis

Analysis and Synthesis

Process of Writing Synthesis Essays

Examine the Assignment

Determine Your Rhetorical Purpose: Purposes for Synthesizing Sources

Ask Questions to Identify Relationships among the Sources

Formulate a Thesis and Review the Texts

Process of Writing an Exploratory Synthesis

Decide on Rhetorical Purpose

Formulate Working Thesis

Process of Writing a Literature Review

*Examination of “Adolescents’ Expressed Meanings of Music In and Out of School”: Patricia Shehard Campbell, Claire Connell, and Amy Beegle’s Literature Review

Organize the Literature Review to Focus on Ideas Rather than Sources

Process of Writing a Thesis-Driven Synthesis

Support Thesis with Evidence

Examination of Student’s Thesis-Drive Synthesis

Revising Synthesis Essays

Chapter 7: Argument

Nature of Academic Argument

Argument in a Broad Sense and Argument in a Specialized Sense

Specialized Argument Expressed as Statement vs. Specialized Argument Synthesized with Sources

Developing Support for Arguments

Joining the Academic Conversation

*Examination of “Predators or Plowshares? Arms Control of Robotic Weapons,” Robert Sparrow’s Argument Synthesis

Process of Writing an Argument Synthesis Essay

Differentiate Between Issues and Topics

Differentiate Between Claims and Evidence

Differentiate Between Opinions and Reasons

Probe Both Sides of the Issue

Question the Reading Sources

State Your Claim

Support Reasons with Evidence from Reading Sources

Acknowledge and Respond to Competing Claims

Illustration of Student’s Process in Writing an Argument Synthesis Essay

Consider Audience

Determine Issue, Thesis, and Competing Positions

Organize Argument Synthesis Essays

Acknowledge and Respond to Alternative views in Separate, Self-Contained Sections

Acknowledge and respond to Objections in a Point-by-Point Fashion

Revising and Editing

Chapter 8: Writing Research Papers

The Research Paper: An Introduction

Identify a Research Topic: The Role of the Assignment

Illustration of a Student’s Process of Writing a Research Paper

Select a Research Topic

Develop a Research Strategy

Set a Schedule

Brainstorm a Preliminary Search Vocabulary

Determine How You Will Find the Sources

Locate Sources in an Academic Library

Use Catalogues to Find Books

Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC)

Library of Congress and OCLC World Cat

Bibliographic Details for Electronic Sources

A Word About Electronic Retrieval Systems

Types of Searches

Conduct Research on the World Wide Web

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Web

Advantages of College Libraries

Find Digital Resources on the Web

How to Increase the Precision of Your Web Search

Evaluate What You Find

Which Articles Are the Most Important

How to Evaluate Web Sources

Evaluate Information Sources

Collect Information on Your Own

Modify Your Search Strategy

Excerpt Information from Sources and Cite What You Find Using a Standard Format

Formulate a Working Thesis

Planning the Research Paper

Select an Organizational Plan


Write from Your Outline


Part II: An Anthology of Readings

Natural Sciences and Technology

Chapter 9: Who Owns Your Body?

*“Who Owns Your Body Parts?” by Kerry Howley

*“Donors Have No Rights to Donated Tissue” by Kristine E. Schleiter, JD, LLM

*“The Trouble with Organ Trafficking,” by Arthur Caplan

*“Why We Need a Market for Human Organs,” by Sally Satel

*“The Gendered Language of Gamete ‘Donation’,” by Caroline Rubin

Chapter 10: Human/Machine Interaction

*“Humanoid and Android Science,” by Hiroshi Ishiguro and Minoru Asada

*“Looking Forward to Sociable Robots,” by Glenda Shaw-Garlock

*“The Ethical Frontier of Robotics,” by Noel Sharkey

*“The Way Forward in the World of Robotics,” Kenneth W. Goodman and Norman G. Einspruch

Chapter 11: Privacy and Technology

*“I Just Called to Say I Love You,” by Jonathan Franzen

“Kyllo v. United States: Technology v. Individual Privacy,” by Thomas Colbridge

*“The Anonymity Experiment,” by Catherine Price

“Trading Liberties for Illusions,” by Wendy Kaminer

*“If Looks Could Kill,” The Economist

Social Sciences

Chapter 12: The Changing American Family

“What Is a Family,” by Pauline Irit Erera

“Children of Gay Fathers,” by Robert L. Barret and Bryan E. Robinson

“Cohabitation Instead of Marriage,” by James Q. Wilson

*“The Origins of the Ambivalent Acceptance of Divorce,” by Andrew J. Oberlin

“Absent Fathers: Why Don’t We Ever Talk about the Unmarried Men?” by Rebecca M. Blank

*“The Ballad of a Single Mother,” by Lynn Olcott

Chapter 13: Social Class and Inequality

“Born Poor and Smart,” by Angela Locke

*“Culture of Success,” by Brink Lindsey

“The War Against the Poor Instead of Programs to End Poverty,” by Herbert J. Gans

*“The Inequality Challenge,” by Matt Yglesias

“Serving in Florida,” by Barbara Ehrenreich

“Middle of the Class,” The Economist

“When Shelter Feels Like a Prison,” by Charmion Browne


Chapter 14: Rock Music and Cultural Values

“Toward an Aesthetic of Popular Music,” by Simon Frith

*“Music and Morality,” by Roger Scruton

“Redeeming the Rap Experience,” Venise Berry

*“Digital Music: You Are What You Listen To,” by Lane Jennings

*“Of Ipods and Dirty Underwear,” by James Rosen

Chapter 15: Stories of Ethnic Difference

“A Different Mirror,” by Ronald Takaki

“Jasmine,” by Bharati Mukherjee

“Snapshots,” by Helena Maria Viramontes

“Between the Pool and the Gardenias,” Edwidge Danticat

“Bohemians,” by George Saunders

Chapter 16: Three Visual Portfolios

Portfolio 1: Images of Families

Portfolio 2: Images of Inequality

Portfolio 3: Images of Ethnic Diversity

Appendix: Documenting Sources


  • Covers genres that play a major role in writing courses and are frequently assigned in courses in various disciplines: response to a text, summary, abstract, précis, critical analysis, rhetorical analysis, comparative analysis, literary analysis, process analysis, casual analysis, comparison and contrast, critique of visual argument, explanatory synthesis, literature review, thesis-driven synthesis, argument-synthesis, and research paper.
  • Fully embraces the Outcomes recommended by the Council of Writing Program Administrators
  • Provides an anthology of readings in the humanities, the natural sciences and technology, and the social sciences, with articles representing various rhetorical approaches across academic disciplines. The selections include both scholarly/documented and popular sources
  • Teaches students how to use reading sources as idea banks for college papers.
  • Offers extensive coverage of critical reading and the fundamental writing strategies of planning, organizing, drafting, revising, and editing.
  • Helps develop students' abilities to think critically and reason cogently as they read, compose, and revise.
  • Activities and questions that accompany each reading encourage students to approach academic writing as a process:
    • To preview the source, set reading goals, and ponder the general topic before reading.
    • To annotate the text and think critically while reading.
    • To reflect on the source and identify information content, genre, organization, stylistic features, and rhetorical context after reading.
    • Offers guidelines for writing a wide range of classroom genres.