Writing in the Disciplines: A Reader and Rhetoric Academic for Writers

Mary Lynch Kennedy / William J. Kennedy  
Total pages
July 2011
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Writing in the Disciplines: A Reader and Rhetoric Academic for Writers
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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.  



  • 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.

      New to this Edition

      New Readings- 23 of the 42 readings are new to this edition.  The readings embrace timely topics in the sciences such as trafficking in body parts and tissue (“Who Owns Your Body?”), robotics (“Human/Robot Interaction”), and high-tech surveillance (“Privacy and Technology”); and in the social sciences and humanities such as “The Changing American Family,” “Social Class and Inequality,” “Rock Music and Cultural Values” and “Stories of Ethnic Difference.”


      New Organization- The seventh edition conveniently presents the touchstone readings at the point of need within the context of each acacemic genre in the rhetoric portion of the text.


      Increased Emphasis on Questioning- Throughout the book the authors now stress the importance of developing a questioning frame of mind. Every chapter contains guidelines for posing and answering questions about texts. For example, in Chapter 1 alone are found Questions for Analyzing Literal Content of Texts, Questions for Analyzing the Genre of Texts, Questions for Analyzing Stylistic Features of Texts, Questions for Analyzing the Rhetorical Context of Texts, and Questions for Analyzing Writing Assignments.


      Expanded Treatment of Academic Genres—The seventh edition address academic genres in even more depth and with more examples such as Analysis and Evaluation (six forms of analysis); Synthesis (three forms of synthesis); Source-based Argument, including discussion of using different types of arguments for different purposes; and the Research Paper (three forms).


      Current Coverage of Online Research—The research chapter has been updated to include the most up-to-date advice for using online databases, subject directories, search engines, and other electronic tools.


      WPA Outcomes- An especially important goal throughout this new edition is the implementation of the “Outcomes Statement” of the Council of Writing Program Administrators (WPA) as a basis for teaching reading and writing skills in undergraduate composition courses.

      Table of Contents

      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


      Instructor Resources