Adapting to a Disciplinary Discourse: A Redesigned Course for MA History Students
For most MA programs, it is common to enroll students with different BA degrees. The MA students who have changed their discipline are required to adopt a new disciplinary discourse and learn to write academic texts in line with appropriate genres and conventions. This study exemplifies an attempt to redesign the academic writing course for MA History programs at the Ural Federal University in order to ease the difficulties faced by students with non-history backgrounds. The essence of the redesign was to enhance the traditional teaching by demonstrating fundamental dissimilarities between history and other disciplines in terms of writing conventions. Teaching academic writing in that manner was supposed to facilitate students with both a history and non-history backgrounds to master the effective conventional writing of history texts. The efficiency of the redesigned course was estimated on the basis of students’ performance and feedback. This teaching practice can be of use for academic writing instructors who seek to help students from different backgrounds develop skills and competences that are necessary for a specific professional community.