Strategies for Writing Center Research

SKU: 978-1-60235-719-8

Jackie Grutsch McKinney

Lenses on Composition Studies
Series Editors: Sheryl I. Fontaine and Steve Westbrook

Information and Pricing
978-1-60235-719-8 (paperback, $30.00); 978-1-60235-720-4 (hardcover, $60.00); 978-1-60235-721-1 (Adobe eBook, $20). © 2016 by Parlor Press. 218 pages.

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Strategies for Writing Center Research is a guide to empirical research on writing center work. Though there are many other places where formal writing instruction, conversations about writing, conversations about teaching writing, writing, and revision happen, these activities are all always occurring in writing centers. All of the political, theoretical, social, spatial, technological, and practical debates about how a someone becomes a better writer play out hour after hour in the writing center; thus, the possibility of the writing center as a site for serious, interesting, groundbreaking writing research cannot be overstated.

Strategies for Writing Center Research is divided into three parts that correspond, more or less, to the stages of a research project. Part 1 includes an overview of writing center research, an introduction to key terms for research, a discussion of how to conduct bibliographic research in writing center studies, and advice on shaping a research proposal. Part 2 helps readers select appropriate research methods for their research questions. Chapters are devoted to discourse analysis, interviewing, surveying, fieldwork, and action research, including a discussion of the limitations, ethical challenges, and pitfalls to expect, as well as a description of the sort of data collected. Part 3 includes a discussion of approaches for analyzing and reporting research.

About the Author

Jackie Grutsch McKinney is Director of the Writing Center and Associate Professor of English at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Her scholarship on writing center issues has appeared in key journals such as WPA: Writing Program Administration, Writing Center Journal, Writing Lab Newsletter, and Praxis: A Writing Center Journal, as well as in several writing center edited collections including Before and After the Tutorial, Multiliteracy Centers, and The St. Martin’s Sourcebook for Writing Tutors. Her first book, Peripheral Visions for Writing Centers, won the International Writing Center Association Outstanding Book Award in 2014.


Download a detailed Table of Contents.

Introduction: Why Conduct Writing Center Research?

Part I
1 Getting Situated
2 Getting Started

Part II
3 Studying Texts and Talk
4 Studying Individuals
5 Studying Populations
6 Studying Sites and Tools
7 Studying Possibilities: Action Research

Part III
8 Analyzing and Interpreting Your Data
9 Sharing Your Research

Works Cited
Appendix A: Sample Informed Consent Form
Appendix B: Sample Release Form
Appendix C: Driscoll and Perdue's RAD Rubric
Appendix D: Transcriptions
About the Author

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