by Deng Xudong
Centre for English Language Communication
National University of Singapore
In institutions of higher learning, writing is prevalent in students’ academic life as it often constitutes an essential part of their academic requirements. This prevalence is probably based on the premise that writing helps promote thinking and intellectual development, sustain the knowledge learnt from a subject area, and achieve a sense of ownership for the education received (Barnett & Rosen, 1999). In post-secondary institutions in many parts of the world, the instruction of writing skills has been largely handled by writing programs of various sorts. In the context of higher education in North America (and more recently in Europe), the pedagogical movement that has been in existence since the 1970s and is still gaining currency is called Writing Across the Curriculum, the main aim of which is to promote general as well as discipline-specific learning through writing (Barnett & Blumner, 1999; Wallace & Wallace, 2006).
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