Writing in the Disciplines
At the University of Tennessee, many courses include writing as a central component. While many academic papers may share similar goals, however, each discipline has unique expectations and requirements for successful writing. For example, writing for a Philosophy course can be very different than writing for English, and writing for a science class can be completely different than writing for a humanities class.
First-year composition classes cannot teach students the specific expectations for every discipline—those lessons are best learned while taking classes and completing writing assignments in the many different subject areas in which students take classes.
The links below offer information about writing in various disciplines. You will find helpful explanations and tips for writing in the natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities.
Always follow your own professor’s guidelines first, no matter what advice you may find on the links below.
A Guide to Writing in the Biological Sciences
- George Mason University offers a set of guidelines for use by undergraduates in Biological Sciences for writing papers, short-answer tests, posters, and scientific articles.
Writing in Information Technology and Engineering Sciences
- George Mason University offers a set of guidelines and information on technical and academic writing, workplace writing, and career development. It also includes information on discipline-specific library sources.
Carleton College Quantitative Writing and Reasoning Guide
- This site defines and gives examples of quantitative writing and offers sample assignments across disciplines.
Writing in the Sciences
- Dartmouth College provides information for writing in science courses.
Writing in the Social Sciences
- Dartmouth College offers general information about writing in Social Science courses.
Some General Tips for Writing a Sociology Paper
- Dartmouth College offers some basic guidelines for doing research and writing in Sociology.
Writing in Management and Business
- George Mason University offers a set of guidelines for use by writers in Management and Business classes. It includes general writing information plus information specific to particular classes such as Accounting and Finance. Career development links are also included.
A Guide to Writing in Psychology
- Harvard offers a set of guidelines for writing in Psychology. This PDF includes information on writing the sections of a common Psychology paper and a valuable section concerning sources.
Writing in Public and International Affairs
- George Mason University offers a set of guidelines for writers in Political Science and offers advice from teachers of those classes.
Writing in the Humanities
- Dartmouth College offers general information for writing in humanities courses.
Tips for Writing a Philosophy Paper
- The Massachusetts Institute of Technology provides tips on writing within the discipline of Philosophy. The site is divided into “major” and “minor” guidelines to provide writers with more focused information.
Guidelines for Writing Philosophy Papers
- California State University at Sacramento provides Philosophy students with some general guidelines. The site includes information on structure, the basics of argumentation, and tips on citations.
Reading and Writing in English Studies: A Guide for Students
- California State University at Sacramento provides students in English a set of general guidelines for writing in English courses, including writing standards, tips on the reading and writing process, tips on the research process, a glossary of literary terms, and a list of writing resources for graduate students.
Department of English Writing Guide
- George Mason University offers a set of guidelines for writing analytical papers in English courses and provides sample analytical essays. Most helpful, perhaps, is its link to guidelines for writing in English concentrations: nonfiction writing and editing; linguistics; folklore, mythology, and literature; and film and media studies.
Writing in History 100: The History of Western Civilization
- George Mason University offers a set of guidelines for use by undergraduates in History. This site is formulated with a particular course at GMU in mind (History 100: The History of Western Tradition), but it is applicable to other schools as well. It offers advice from history instructors. A link to information on Turabian Style is also provided.
Religious Studies Writing Guide
- George Mason University offers a set of guidelines for use by undergraduates in Religious Studies courses. The site includes a link to instructor advice for those writing within this discipline.
Writing in the Workplace
- The Writing Center at Rennselaer offers in-depth information about business letters, memoranda, press releases, and proposals.
Adding Emphasis in Business Writing
- The OWL at Purdue offers specific information about writing in business courses. The site offers advice to help students produce more effective business communications by using strategies that add emphasis within a document.
- The OWL at Purdue offers an online guide to memo writing with specific attention paid to audience and purpose, structure, and format. It also provides a sample memo.
The Anatomy of a Press Release
- This site provides the step-by-step process of producing a press release. While not an academic site, it presents the information in a manner that would be beneficial to students engaged in such an assignment.
Ten Elements of an Effective Press Release
- This site offers suggestions to make press releases more effective. It does not provide a step-by-step account of the writing process for press releases; instead, it provides tips on improving existing writing.
Do you have a useful link to share about writing in your discipline?
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