Writing Center Research

Writing centers are places where learners collaborate, compose, and engage in a variety of meaning-making practices. As such, writing centers are prime locations for research on topics like peer feedback, revision, translanguaging, and, of course, student writing.

Furthermore, every day, Writing Center consultants work with students and assignments from across the disciplines. In fact, our consultants read more assignment descriptions and rubrics than just about anyone at UTRGV! Understanding how students make meaning through writing, and how instructors teach content through their writing assignments are major areas of interest for writing center researchers.

For those of you interested in learning more about writing centers, tutoring, and teaching, there are numerous Writing Center Studies journals where you can start your secondary research:

Really want to dig into the scholarship of Writing Center Studies? Here are some of the books that have informed our praxis at the Writing Center:

  • Writing Centers and Disability by Rebecca Day Babcock and Sharifa Daniels
  • Open-Access, Multimodality, and Writing Center Studies by Elisabeth H. Buck
  • Facing the Center: Toward an Identity Politics of One-to-One Mentoring by Harry C. Denny
  • The Everyday Writing Center: A Community of Practice by Anne Ellen Geller, Michele Eodice, Frankie Condon, Meg Carroll, & Elizabeth H. Boquet
  • Writing Centers and the New Racism: A Call for Sustainable Dialogue and Change edited by Laura Greenfield & Karen Rowan
  • Around the Texts of Writing Center Work: An Inquiry-Based Approach to Tutor Education by R. Mark Hall
  • Talk About Writing: The Tutoring Strategies of Experienced Writing Center Tutors by Jo Mackiewicz and Isabelle Thompson
  • Peripheral Visions for Writing Centers by Jackie Grutsch McKinney
  • The Working Lives of New Writing Center Directors by Jackie Grutsch McKinney, Nicole Caswell, and Rebecca Jackson
  • The Writing Center as Cultural and Interdisciplinary Contact Zone by Randall W. Monty
  • Multilingual Writers and Writing Centers by Ben Rafoth
  • Writing Centers and Disability by Rebecca Day Babcock and Sharifa Daniels

Beyond areas of writing and communication, writing centers are places where researchers study other issues of contemporary relevance like social justice and institutional critique. If you’re interested in doing primary research in the writing center, please contact the Writing Center at wc@utrgv.edu.