How To Use the Anthology

For All Users

From the main Writing Across Western page, users can simply click any hyperlink to view each department’s exemplary text. Departments without hyperlinks have not yet submitted texts to the anthology.

Once on an individual department page, users will see a short blurb introducing the student writing for the department. This information is very important, for it describes the qualities and details that make the piece of writing an exemplary model that other students should strive to emulate in their own, discipline-specific writing. Below each description is a hyperlink to the student’s essay or report itself.

Once users have clicked through to the student essay, they can simply begin reading. However, in some cases the student papers have complex formulas, tables, or other graphics that do not render well in the software used to publish this website. In those cases, users will see concise instructions for how to download and read the student essay in .pdf form.

All users should note that the essays here are published with the written consent of the student authors. In all cases, Western Carolina University is the copyright holder, unless otherwise noted. All users should note further that reproduction of copyrighted material in course packs and on other websites is illegal without the written consent of Western Carolina University and that unauthorized use may be subject to a variety of criminal and civil penalties. All students should note especially that presenting the student work here as your own work without proper citation is an act of plagiarism, and grounds for grave academic sanctions and even dismissal from the university at most institutions.

For Students

The first thing that you should notice here is that, no matter what you major is, students in all majors write. These examples have been provided to show you what writing in your discipline or major looks like when it is done at a particularly high level, and in ways that your instructors hope that you also will eventually write. As you read through a piece, take special notice of the details. Ask yourself as you read: How is the author citing source material? How is the writing formatted? What sorts of claims is the author making and what sorts of evidence is the author deploying in order to support those claims? How is the author using their knowledge of the subject to make arguments, or complete the lab report, for example. Ask yourself as well: Is this the sort of writing that I am turning in, and if not, how can I get to this level in my own work? If there are things in the writing that are confusing to you, those are great questions to take to your instructor.

For Instructors

Our hope is that these positive examples of student writing in your field will help your students to see what the expectations for writing at a high level are within your discipline and your department. In order to fully take advantage of this resource, you may want to use it in class, pointing out to students what you think the author does particularly well. As we all know, students are here because they are in the process of learning. They may not “see” the writing as clearly as you do, and so there is no positive feature of the writing here that is too obvious to point out. If you prefer that there is something in the writing here that students avoid or not emulate, it is very helpful to point that out to students as well. The more that you engage with the texts with students (instead of simply telling them to read it), the more students will begin to understand what makes the writing here effective, and the more they will see you own high expectations for their writing.