This course is part of the Academic Core and must be taken in the student’s second year. ACC 230 Writing Across the Disciplines has two core objectives:

1. Introducing students to the conventions of academic genres across the disciplines, culminating in a particular focus on research writing;

2. Enhancing students’ academic writing skills.

Students analyse written text formats to identify general features of academic writing across the curriculum as well as discipline-specific variations. Focus is initially on genres common to most academic disciplines, such as critiques and literature reviews, and then moves to discipline-specific genres such as literary analysis, case studies, and laboratory reports. The analyses address questions on structural organization of the information, but also on genre and discipline specific use of,for example, pronouns,verb tenses and evaluative language. Students demonstrate their understanding of these analyses through the production of three academic genres, which will be collected in a portfolio.


Special attention is given to the analysis and production of research papers, starting with the close reading of their constituent parts for conventions both on the structural and the linguistic level and ultimately leading to the step-by-step writing of the different sections, with peer-reviews, guided reflections and/or individual instructor consultation for each component part. Focus of the analyses is, for example, on the standard structure of the introduction for a research paper and the phrases used to underline that organization.As ACC 230 is essentially a skills course, the research paper is based on secondary, rather than primary research.

Throughout the course, students also enhance their command of academic writing skills through further practice of principles such as conciseness, precision, and clarity.


Acquisition and practice of the above-mentioned skills is intended to prepare students for writing assignmentsin their advanced content courses across the UCR curriculum and in particular for the Capstone project, as part of which students typically produce research writing, reflections and posters. In the spirit of the Capstone project, which involves a final demonstration of the acquired knowledge and skills, and a critical looking  back as well as forward, students in the ACC 230 course analyze and practice other genres that form an inherent part of a college student’s writing portfolio, namely personal statements and CVs.