Research

Most of my professional research is in the category of scholarship of teaching and learning; Rhetoric & Composition is by origin a pedagogical field. Below is a selection of my research on writing pedagogy and undergraduate research.


First-Year Composition

“What Is First-Year Composition?” — Chapter for Malenczyk’s A Rhetoric for WPAs (USUP, 2013/2016) which offers a philosophy of the role of FYC in college, juxtaposing the historical “public charter” of composition as teaching basic writing skills with contemporary expert understandings of writing and writing instruction.

“Threshold Concepts in First-Year Composition” — Co-authored with Liane Robertson, a chapter in Adler-Kassner and Wardle’s Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts in Composition (2015). Focuses on designing FYC courses in light of the field’s bleeding-edge understandings of threshold concepts and their impact on writing instruction.

“Revision is Central to Developing Writing” — Brief explication of this threshold concept in Adler-Kassner and Wardle’s Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts in Composition (USUP, 2015).

“Double Standards and Sunshine: Exploring Faculty Writing Practices with Writing-about-Writing Pedagogies” — Pre-publication version of a chapter for Kerr and Amiccuci’s First-Year Composition as a Site for the Development of Writers and Members of the Academy. I explore the suitability of WAW pedagogies for providing students insight on professional writing practices in comparison to advice frequently given to students.

“Crafting Collaboricity: Harmonizing the Force Fields of Writing Program and Writing Center Work” — Pre-publication version of a chapter co-authored with Michelle Miley for Myatt and Gaillet’s Writing Programs and Writing Center Collaborations: Transcending
Boundaries (Palgrave McMillan, 2017). Miley and I consider ways that writing centers and writing programs might develop “collaboricity” by strategically overlapping their spheres of influence.


Writing about Writing

“Teaching about Writing, Righting Misconceptions: FYC as Intro to Writing Studies” — 2007 College Composition and Communication article co-authored with Elizabeth Wardle which introduced the current configuration of writing-about-writing pedagogies to the field.

“Teaching First Year Writers to Use Texts: Scholarly Readings in Writing-About-Writing in First-Year Comp” — 2010 Reader article on how first-year students can successfully read scholarly articles in writing-about-writing courses.

“Looking into Writing-about-Writing Classrooms” — chapter co-authored with Elizabeth Wardle in Teague and Lunsford’s First-Year Composition: From Theory to Practice (Parlor, 2014). Wardle and I distill essential principles of WAW pedagogy and explain how they appear in our respective FYC classrooms.


Undergraduate Research

“Students’ Texts Beyond the Classroom: Young Scholars in Writing’s Challenges to College Writing Instruction” — chapter co-authored with Heidi Estrem and Susan Thomas for Harris, Miles, and Paine’s Teaching With Student Texts: Essays Toward an Informed
Practice (USUP, 2010). We demonstrate how student research writing which is professionally published creates “student texts for the classroom” with unique teaching applications.

“What Can a Novice Contribute? Undergraduate Researchers in First-Year Composition” — chapter co-authored with Elizabeth Wardle for Grobman and Kinkead’s Undergraduate Research in English Studies (USUP, 2010). We argue that even first-year college students can be effective undergraduate researchers.


Ongoing Grant-Funded Research

CCCC Research Initiative Grant — “Learning Transfer from Metacognition-Enhancing
Writing-about-Writing FYC Courses: A Longitudinal Study.” This is a 4-6 year project conducted at MSU by myself, NTT faculty, and graduate students, investigating how students transfer learning from our writing-about-writing-based WRIT 101 College Writing I courses to later writing experiences in college. The project, launched in spring 2014, has been funded by the $10,000 CCCC RI grant plus nearly $20,000 in internal funding. We are currently finishing the third year of the project, have presented twice at CCC, and are completing our first article manuscripts stemming from the research.