Writing in the Discipline
Accounting and Computer Information Systems (CIS)
1. Why or in what ways is writing important to your discipline/field/profession?
Accounting and IT professionals need to have the ability to communicate with many constituencies and in many forms as well as communicate to a variety of stakeholders in order to facilitate decision making and provide information. Accountants explain and interpret accounting standards, provide analysis of financial reports, and summarize accounting information. IT professionals describe technology, create executive summaries, and prepare project reports. In short, writing is an essential skill in both the Accounting and IT fields.
2. Which courses are designated as satisfying the WID requirement by your department? Why these courses?
ACCT 311, ACCT 312, and ACCT 461 are designated as Writing in the Discipline courses for the Accounting Program. These courses provide students with the opportunity to explain and interpret accounting standards, apply standards to financial reporting issues, construct persuasive arguments, analyze case studies, and receive feedback to improve their writing skills.
CIS 455 and CIS 462 are designated as Writing in the Discipline courses for the CIS Program. These courses provide students the opportunity to analyze and describe technology, create executive summaries, develop modeling tools, and prepare professional project reports.
3. What forms or genres of writing will students learn and practice in your department’s WID courses? Why these genres?
In Accounting WID courses, forms of communication include financial statements and related analysis, tax returns and tax advice, audit reports, client proposals and recommendations. CIS majors learn the conventions of program and systems documentation and how to communicate facts, ideas and recommendations in systems analysis and design projects. These are necessary to communicate important information to stakeholders.
4. What kinds of teaching practices will students encounter in your department’s WID courses?
Students will find a range of teaching practices in Accounting and CIS courses. For example, students in WID courses in the Accounting program are frequently given case studies and asked to write reports that analyze the accounting policies and financial statements of a given company and to make recommendations, supported by analysis, on various aspects of the case. Typically, the instructor does one sample case at the beginning of the semester to provide a model for students to follow in these assignments.
CIS WID courses use team projects that allow students to work together and receive feedback on their writing during multiple phases throughout the semester. In addition, CIS 462 students use team meetings with the instructor to review the content of project reports, providing regular feedback to and from the instructor.
5. When they’ve satisfied your department’s WID requirement, what should students know and be able to do with writing?
Once they’ve completed their WID courses, Accounting majors should be able to effectively communicate in written form including explaining industry standards and reports, constructing persuasive arguments, and analyzing case studies. CIS majors should be able to describe technology, create executive summaries, develop modeling tools, and prepare professional project reports.