Martha D. Patton

Martha Patton
Associate Professor Emerita

PhD 1994, University of Missouri-Columbia

Research and Teaching

Writing-in-the-disciplines; science studies / writing; teaching of English to speakers of other languages (TESOL)

What does writing have to do with discovery? How do scientists and engineers, among others, use language to discover, justify, and communicate their claims? How do undergraduates use writing as a tool for learning in any discipline? Martha D. Patton explores these questions, both in her teaching and in her research. For a dozen years, she worked in MU's Campus Writing Program, where she had the privilege of working with hundreds of MU faculty from across the disciplines. She also taught writing-intensive courses for majors in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines. Other interests include English education, genre studies, rhetoric, second language learning, and women and gender studies.

Although she retired in 2012, she remains interested in interdisciplinary and international collaborations and research. From 2012 to 2014, she taught English (TEFL) at Southwest University in Beibei, China, as a Peace Corps volunteer. From 2014 to 2017, she taught lower division writing to international students and upper division science writing at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Selected Publications

Academic Writing: Focus on Discovery. Beijing: Renmin University Press, 2015. With Liu Chengyu.

"Re-evaluating directive commentary in an engineering activity systems." Across the Disciplines, 10.1 (May 21, 2013): With Summer Smith Taylor.

"The Rhetorical Ecology of Peer Review: Changes in the Digital Age." Engaging Cultures and Voices: The Journal of English Learning Through Media. 12.3 (Spring 2012): 1-28. and PDF/issue 3/Issue 3-1.pdf.

"Uncommon Conversations: How Nearly Three Decades of Paying Attention Allows One WAC/WID Program to Thrive." Journal of the Council of Writing Program Administration. 35.2 (Spring 2012): 127-159. With Martha A. Townsend and Jo Ann Vogt.

"Mapping the Gaps in Services for L2 Writers.” Across the Disciplines: A Journal of Language, Learning, and Academic Writing. Guest Eds. Terry Zawacki and Michelle Cox. 8.4 (December 21, 2011):

Writing in the Research University: A Darwinian Study of WID with Cases from Civil Engineering. Hampton Press, 2011.

"Beyond WI: Building an Integrated Communication Curriculum in One Department of Civil Engineering."IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication Guest Eds. Marie C. Paretti and Lisa McNair. 51.3 (2008): 313-327.

"A Case Study of Reading in a Writing-Intensive Physics Course for Non-Majors." Journal of Teaching Writing. 24.1 (2008): 21-40.

"The Use of Web-Based Student Extension Publications to Improve Undergraduate Student Writing."Journal of Natural Resources & Life Sciences Education 36 (2007): 95-102. With P. P. Motavalli and R. J. Miles.

"Pseudoscience." American History through Literature, 1870-1920 Eds. Tom Quirk and Gary Scharnhorst. New York: Charles Scribners & Sons, 2006. 3: 915-21.

"Spiritualism." American History through Literature, 1870-1920 Eds. Tom Quirk and Gary Scharnhorst. New York: Charles Scribners & Sons, 2006. 3: 1069-74.

"Ten Engineers Reading: Disjunctions Between Preference and Practice in Civil Engineering Faculty Responses." Journal of Technical Writing and Communication 36.3 (2006): 253-271. With Summer Smith Taylor. 

"Frauds, Hoaxes, and Pseudoscience: A Course in Argumentation." Academic Exchange Quarterly 7.4 (2004): 204-208.

"Literacy and Learning in Context: Biology Students in the Classroom and the Lab." Multiple Literacies for the 21st Century Ed. Beth Stroble, Brian Huot and Charles Bazerman. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press, 2004. 151-171. With Edwin Nagelhout.

"Situated Writing Workshops: Putting Writing Advice in Context." The Writing Instructor (January 2004).

"Promoting Environmental Writing in Undergraduate Soil Science Programs." Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education. 32 (2003): 93-99. With Motavalli, P. P., R.A. Logan, and C. J. Frey.

"Research or Faculty Development? A Study of WI Faculty Commenting." Writing Program Administration: Journal of the Council of Writing Program Administrators 27.1-2 (2003): 75-91.

"Heightening Reflection Through Dialogue: A Case for Electronic Journaling and Electronic Concept Mapping in Science Classes." Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education. 1.3 (2001): 321-333. Norfolk, VA: AACE. With Germann, P. and Young-Soo, K.

"Dealing with Resistance to WAC in the Natural and Applied Sciences." Language and Learning Across the Curriculum. 3.1 (1998): 64-76. With A. Krawitz, K. Libbus, M. Ryan, and M. Townsend.