6 Pages

power-for ill-in

Such a course would not have as its object teaching students to write or improving their writing per se, any more than an introductory psychology course claims to make students better adjusted or a course in music appreciation claims to make its students better singers (although that might be one effect of the course). Rather its object would be to teach students what has been learned about writing in those activity systems that make the role of writing in society the object of their study. Such a course would continue to provide many of the benefits of the GWSI course, but in a way that directly uses the unprecedented research of the last 30 years. Bylooking at the research on academic discourses-writing and learning in the disciplines-students may become more aware of the uses of written discourse in their institution and of ways they can use writing to further their own exploration of the "strange lands" of various disciplines and perhaps facilitate their entry into one or more of them (McCarthy, 1987). By looking at research on workplace writing, students would be introduced to the roles writing plays in professions that colleges and universities prepare and credential students to enter-and eventually transform. By looking at how researchers in cultural studies, critical discourse analysis, and the sociology of knowledge provide insight into the uses of texts, students would critically examine some ways writing shapes social processes and power relations, through corporate, media, and governmental uses of writing.