All posts by geoffclegg

Writing About Writing Working Bibliography

If you would like to see any work not represented in this working bibliography, please send additions to geoffrey.clegg [at] mwsu [dot] com. I will update this as needed.

Articles and Books:

Adler-Kassner, Linda, and Elizabeth Wardle. Naming what we know: Threshold concepts of writing studies. University Press of Colorado, 2015.

Adler-Kassner, Linda, et al. “Assembling Knowledge: The Role of Threshold Concepts in Facilitating Transfer.” Critical Transitions: Writing and the Question of Transfer. Editors: Anson, Chris M., & Moore, Jessie L. Fort Collins, Colorado: The WAC Clearinghouse and University Press of Colorado, USA, Chapter 1, pp 17-48.

Adler-Kassner, Linda, John Majewski, and Damian Koshnick. “The Value of Troublesome Knowledge: Transfer and Threshold Concepts in Writing and History.” Composition Forum. Vol. 26, 2012.

Allen, Matthew, Mary McCall, and Gracemarie Mike. “First-Year Composition through a Global Engineering Perspective.” connexions 1.2 109-133 (2013).

Andersen, Rebekka. “Teaching Visual Rhetoric as a Close Reading Strategy.” Composition Studies 44.2 (2016).

Beemer, Cristy. “Sophists or SMEs? Teaching Rhetoric Across the Curriculum in the Professional and Technical Writing Classroom.” Teaching English in the Two Year College 44.2 (2016): 204.

Behm, Nicholas N., Gregory R. Glau, and Deborah H. Holdstein. WPA Outcomes Statement—A Decade Later. Anderson: Parlor, 2012. Web.

Bird, Barbara. “A Basic Writing Course Design to Promote Writer Identity: Three Analyses of Student Papers.” Journal of Basic Writing 32.1 (2013): 62-96. Web.

Bird, Barbara. “Writing about Writing as the Heart of a Writing Studies Approach to FYC: Response to Douglas Downs and Elizabeth Wardle, “Teaching about Writing, Righting Misconceptions” and to Libby Miles Et Al., “Thinking Vertically”. College Composition and Communication, vol. 60, no. 1, 2008, pp. 165-171.

Carter, Shannon. “Writing about Writing in Basic Writing: A Teacher/Researcher/Activist Narrative.” BWe: Basic Writing e-journal, vol. 8-9, 2009, pp. 1.

Charlton, Jonnika. “Seeing is Believing: Writing Studies with ‘Basic Writing’ Students.” BWe: Basic Writing E-Journal (2009): 8-9.

Clark, Irene L., and Andrea Hernandez. “Genre awareness, academic argument, and transferability.” The WAC Journal 22 (2011): 65-78.

Devet, Bonnie. “The writing center and transfer of learning: A primer for directors.” The Writing Center Journal (2015): 119-151.

Dieterle, Brandy, and Stephanie Vie. “Digital First-Year Composition: Integrating Multimodality into a Writing about Writing Approach.” Journal of Global Literacies, Technologies, and Emerging Pedagogies 3.1 (2015): 276-289.

Downs, Doug. “Teaching First-Year Writers to use Texts: Scholarly Readings in Writing-about-Writing in First-Year Comp.” Reader: essays in reader-oriented theory, criticism, and pedagogy, 2010, pp. 19.

Downs, Doug and Elizabeth Wardle. “Reimagining the Nature of FYC Trends in Writing-About-Writing Pedagogies.” eds. Ritter, Kelly, and Paul Kei Matsuda. Exploring Composition Studies : Sites, Issues, Perspectives. Logan: Utah State UP, 2012, pp. 123-144.

Driscoll, Dana Lynn, and Jennifer Wells. “Beyond Knowledge and Skills: Writing Transfer and the Role of Student Dispositions.” Composition Forum. Vol. 26, 2012.

Driscoll, Dana Lynn. “Connected Pedagogy and Transfer of Learning: An Examination of Graduate Instructor Beliefs vs. Practices in First-Year Writing” Journal of Teaching Writing 28.1 (2013): 53-84.

Finer, Bryna. “Exploring Composition Studies: Sites, Issues, and Perspective.” Composition Studies 41.1 (2013): 157-61. Web.

Fishman, Jenn, and Mary Jo Reiff. “Taking it on the Road: Transferring knowledge about rhetoric and writing across curricula and campuses.” Composition Studies 39.2 (2011): 121.

Fraizer, Dan. “First Steps beyond First Year: Coaching Transfer after FYC.(First Year Composition).” Writing Program Administration 33.3 (2010): 34. Web.

Hardy, Jack A., Ute Römer, and Audrey Roberson. “The Power of Relevant Models: Using a Corpus of Student Writing to Introduce Disciplinary Practices in a First Year Composition Course.” Across the Disciplines 12.1 (2015): n1.

Hassel, Holly, and Joanne Baird Giordano. “Transfer institutions, transfer of knowledge: The development of rhetorical adaptability and underprepared writers.” Teaching English in the Two Year College 37.1 (2009): 24.

Hill, Heather N. “Tutoring for Transfer: The Benefits of Teaching Writing Center Tutors about Transfer Theory.” The Writing Center Journal (2016): 77-102.

Howson, Emily, Chris Massenburg, and Cecilia Shelton. “Reflections on Building a Popular Writing Course.” Issues 1.1.

Ihara, Rachel. “Student Perspectives on Self-Assessment: Insights and Implications.” Teaching English in the Two Year College 41.3 (2014): 223-58. Web.

Klausman, Jeffrey. “Review: Writing about Writing: A College Reader.” Teaching English in the Two Year College vol. 39, 2012, pp. 421-422.

Kraemer, Don J. “Just Comp.” Writing Program Administration 35.2 (2012): 85. Web.

Kutney, Joshua P. “Will Writing Awareness Transfer to Writing Performance? Response to Douglas Downs and Elizabeth Wardle,” Teaching about Writing, Righting Misconceptions”.” College Composition and Communication 59.2 (2007): 276-279.

Looker, Samantha. “Writing about Language: Studying Language Diversity with First-Year Writers.” Teaching English in the Two Year College 44.2 (2016): 176.

McCracken, I. M., and Valerie A. Ortiz. “Latino/a Student (Efficacy) Expectations: Reacting and Adjusting to a Writing-about-Writing Curriculum Change at a Hispanic Serving Institution.” Composition Forum, vol. 27, 2013.

Miles, Libby, et al. “Commenting on Douglas Downs and Elizabeth Wardle’s” Teaching about Writing, Righting Misconceptions”.” College Composition and Communication 59.3 (2008): 503-511.

Miley, Michelle, and Doug Downs. “Crafting Collaboricity: Harmonizing the Force Fields of Writing Program and Writing Center Work.” Writing Program and Writing Center Collaborations. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017, pp. 25-45.

Nava, Angelica T. “Where Teachers and Students Meet: Exploring Perceptions in First-Year Composition.” Young Scholars In Writing 9 (2015): 119-127.

Nowacek, Rebecca S. Agents of integration: Understanding transfer as a rhetorical act. SIU Press, 2011.

Perrault, Sarah. “Course Description UWP 011: Popular Science & Technology Writing is a sophomore-level.” Composition Studies 40 (2012): 112-133.

Read, Sarah, and Michael J. Michaud. “Writing about Writing and the Multimajor Professional Writing Course.” College Composition and Communication, vol. 66, no. 3, 2015, pp. 427.

Reiff, Mary Jo, Anis Bawarshi, and Michelle Ballif. Ecologies of Writing Programs: Program Profiles in Context. Anderson: Parlor, 2015. Web.

Robertson, Liane, Kara Taczak, and Kathleen Blake Yancey. “Notes toward a Theory of Prior Knowledge and Its Role in College Composers’ Transfer of Knowledge and Practice.” Composition Forum. Vol. 26, 2012.

Ruecker, Todd. “Reimagining” English 1311: Expository English Composition” as “Introduction to Rhetoric and Writing Studies”.” Composition Studies 39.1 (2011): 87.

Samuels, Robert. “Contingent Labor, Writing Studies, and Writing about Writing.” College Composition and Communication, vol. 68, no. 1, 2016, pp. A3.

Sánchez, Fernando, Liz Lane, and Tyler Carter. “Engaging Writing about Writing Theory and Multimodal Praxis: Remediating WaW for English 106: First Year Composition.” Composition Studies 42.2 (2014): 118.

Scott, Tony. “Subverting Crisis in the Political Economy of Composition.” College Composition and Communication 68.1 (2016): 10.

Skeffington, Jillian K. “Enhancing Transfer from First-Year Composition: A Pedagogy of Shorter Essays.” Journal of Teaching Writing 27.2 (2012): 27-45.

Smitherman, Carey E., and Amanda K. Girard. “Creating Connection: Composition Theory and Creative Writing Craft in the First-Year Writing Classroom.” Currents in Teaching and Learning 3.2 (2011).

Sylvia, Cami, and Michael J. Michaud. “Looking Into Writing.” Composition Studies 43.2 (2015): 186.

Wardle, Elizabeth. “Intractable Writing Program Problems, Kairos, and Writing about Writing: A Profile of the University of Central Florida’s First-Year Composition Program.” Composition Forum, vol. 27, 2013.

Wardle, Elizabeth, and Doug Downs. “Reflecting Back and Looking Forward: Revisiting ‘Teaching about Writing, Righting Misconceptions’ Five Years on.” Composition Forum, vol. 27, 2013.

Wardle, Elizabeth and Doug Downs. “Looking into Writing-about-Writing Classrooms.” First-Year Composition: From Theory to Practice, eds. Deborah Coxwell-Teague and Ronald F. Lunsford. Parlor Press, 2014.

Wardle, Elizabeth and Doug Downs. Writing about Writing: A College Reader, Bedford/St. Martin’s, Boston, 2014.

Wardle, Elizabeth. “Understanding “transfer” from FYC: Preliminary results of a longitudinal study.” Writing Program Administration 31.2 (2007): 65-85.

Wardle, Elizabeth. “’Mutt Genres’ and the Goal of FYC: Can We Help Students Write the Genres of the University?.” College Composition and Communication (2009): 765-789.

Wardle, Elizabeth. “Creative Repurposing for Expansive Learning: Considering ‘Problem-Exploring’and ‘Answer-Getting’Dispositions in Individuals and Fields.” Composition Forum. Vol. 26. No. 1. 2012.

Wardle, Elizabeth. “Continuing the Dialogue: Follow-up Comments on” Teaching about Writing, Righting Misconceptions”.” College Composition and Communication 60.1 (2008): 175-181.

Wardle, Elizabeth. “Intractable Writing Program Problems.” Composition Forum. Vol. 27. 2013.

Wells, Jennifer. “They can Get there from here: Teaching for Transfer through a “Writing about Writing” Course.” The English Journal, vol. 101, no. 2, 2011, pp. 57-63.

White-Farnham, Jamie. “Writing 302: Writing Culture.” Composition Studies 40.2 (2012): 92.

Yancey, Kathleen, Liane Robertson, and Kara Taczak. Writing across contexts: Transfer, composition, and sites of writing. University Press of Colorado, 2014.


Smith, Katie M. Transitioning to Writing about Writing: A Consideration of the Metawriting Teaching Approach at the University of Arkansas, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2014.

Pappas, Stephanie L. Research shows: Recasting Research Instruction in Writing-about-Writing Approaches to First-Year Composition, vol. 74, 2013.

Watson, Hilary. Writing about Writing: One Student’s Challenges Producing a Scholarly Personal Narrative Thesis and Applying the Outcomes as a Student Affairs Professional, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2016.

Goertel, James. Perception is Reality: The First Year Composition Student, Writing about Writing Discussions, and the Author-Informed Text, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2016.


DEADLINE EXTENDED: MAY 4, 11:59 PM CFP CCCC 2018: Writing About Writing Standing Group Panel

Writing About Writing SG

Sponsored Panel:  Call for Proposals

2018 Conference on College Composition and Communication

March 14-27, 2018  // Kansas City, Missouri



Languaging, Laboring, and Transforming

The Writing About Writing (WAW) Standing Group and the WAW Steering Committee invite proposals for the 2018 WAW Sponsored Panel. The sponsored panel is guaranteed to be accepted to the CCCC program when the Standing Group submits it, and we are reaching out to the WAW community to identify potential presenters.

What kind of proposal fits the WAW Sponsored Panel’s goals?

We are interested in interactive panels as well as individual proposals. We are interested in proposals that help us extend the practice and impact of WAW pedagogy or research, particularly proposals authored and co-authored by new and emerging scholars in WAW. We are also hoping to include panels reporting on ongoing research into WAW programs and courses.  We invite proposals that embrace the 2018 conference theme of languaging, laboring, and transforming.

How will the WAW Sponsored Panel selected proposals be submitted to CCCC?

Sponsored Panels will be submitted by the WAW Sponsored Panel Committee through the regular CCCC proposal system, which is why we are asking for the same information as the online program proposal system.

To be considered for the WAW Sponsored Panel, proposals must be received before April 30 at 11:59pm.  Please send your proposal and relevant presenter/panel information through this form.

To be considered for the Sponsored Panel, please follow 4Cs guidelines when writing your proposal. In 1500 characters (including spaces) or 7000 characters (including spaces) for panel proposals, briefly describe the focus and purpose of your WAW presentation.

Be sure that your proposal considers the conference themes and the five main criteria as listed on the guidelines page: 1) how the proposal is situated in the field, 2) its main focus, 3) what is innovative and new, 4) how it is audience-oriented and/or transformative to a wide Cs audience, and 5) how it adds new or underrepresented voices or texture to the discussion.

This year, according to Program Chair Asao Inoue, there are no clusters, only hashtags.  All proposals need to have one to three  hashtags.  The hashtags are:

  • Pedagogy (#Pedagogy)
  •  Basic Writing (#BW)
  • Assessment (#Assess)
  • Rhetoric (#Rhetoric)
  • History (#History)
  • Technology (#Tech)
  • Language (#Language)
  • Professional Technical Writing (#PTW)
  • Writing Program Administration (#WPA)
  • Theory (#Theory)
  • Public, Civic, and Community writing (#Community)
  • Creative Writing (#Creativewriting)

If you have questions and/or concerns, feel free to email Lisa Tremain at:


Writing About Writing and Transfer Sessions at the 2017 CCCCs

I compiled a list of WAW sessions (Thurs-Sat.) at the CCCC’s and combined it with Kathleen Yancey’s Writing Across Contexts list of Transfer sessions. Please feel to check it out!


WAW Sessions


Thursday (3/16)


A.45 What Is Writing Studies Made of?

Tackling questions of structures and boundaries of the field: presenters explore disciplinary futures growing out of earlier alliances.

D 140

Speakers: Peter Campbell, University of Pittsburgh,

John Dunn, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti,

Cory Holding, University of Pittsburgh,

Bob Samuels, University of California, Santa Barbara, “Contingent Labor, Writing Studies, and Writing about Writing”


C.52 Content Conflict: An Argument for Alternative Approaches to “Writing about Writing”

An argument that supports the rhetorical dexterity of WAW but proposes alternative content that more fully considers the needs of students.

B 115


Erin Daugherty, University of Arkansas, “Writing Past Conflict, Writing for Your World”

Logan Hilliard, University of Arkansas, “Creatively Composing: Engaged Liberation in First-Year Composition”

Sam Morris, University of Arkansas, “Gladdening the Process: Voice, Social Identity, and Young Adult Literature”

Friday (3/17)    


I.49 Creating a Transferable Sense of a Writing Self: Findings from a Longitudinal Study of WAW

A longitudinal study of learning transfer from writing-about-writing courses shows transfer as a function of a writer’s sense of self.

F 151


Doug Downs, Montana State University, Bozeman, “Transfer or Transformation? Taking New Selves to New Sites of Writing”

Kim Hoover, University of Pittsburgh, “Kinds of Consciousness: Affect, Metacognition, and Cosmic Minds?” Miles Nolte, Montana State University, Bozeman, “Watch Out for That Exigence: What Military and Commercial Vessel Training Might Demonstrate about Facilitating Student Engagement in FYC”

Mark Schlenz, Montana State University, Bozeman, “Actualizing Selves in Universes of Discourse: Creativity, Identity, and Exigence in Metacognitive Transfer”


J.04 Qualitative Studies of Writing about Writing: Classrooms, Programs, and Trends

(WAW Sponsored Session)

Three qualitative studies of writing about writing focusing on an individual teacher, a program, and trends in US and Canadian pedagogy.

C 124


Rebecca Babcock, University of Texas Permian Basin, Odessa, “Conceptions of WAW: A Qualitative Study”

Cynthia Cochran, Illinois College, “Conceptions of WAW: A Qualitative Study”

Lena Harper, Brigham Young University, “Contextualizing Contrasting Perceptions of WAW Failure: A Case Study of a Stand-Alone WAWFYC Course”

Samuel Stinson, Ohio University, Athens, “Writing-about-Writing and Post-Departmental Support”

David Stock, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, “Contextualizing Contrasting Perceptions of WAW Failure: A Case Study of a StandAlone WAW-FYC Course”

Respondent: Doug Downs, Montana State University, Bozeman


K.10 Writing about Writing and Teaching for Transfer

Speakers consider the efficacy of Writing about Writing in multiple venues and genres.

A 103


Veronica Flanagan, University of California, Santa Cruz, “Teaching First-Year Composition in a College Core Course”

Joel Heng Hartse, Simon Fraser University, “Implementing a Writingabout-Writing Approach in a High-Stakes Foundational Writing Course”

Ariel Zepeda, California State University, San Bernardino, “Reimagining Transfer through Multimodal Re-mediation”


K.37 What’s New in WAW Is WA(M)W! Fostering Adaptive Transfer through Writing about Multilingual Writing

Invites consideration of Writing about Multilingual Writing as an innovative approach to language difference in transfer studies.

B 115


Lindsey Ives, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Katherine Silvester, Indiana University, Bloomington

Emily Simnitt, University of Oregon


FSIG.11 Writing about Writing Development Standing Group Meeting

The WAW Standing Group’s meeting conducts the group’s business and lets members socialize and coordinate efforts in WAW pedagogy and research.

C 126

Chair: Doug Downs, Montana State University, Bozeman

Speaker: Andrea Olinger, University of Louisville

Saturday (3/18)


L.27 Genre and Transfer

Presenters focus on graduate teaching assistant (GTA) training and understanding diverse genre approaches to teaching.

A 104


Melissa Bugdal, University of Connecticut, Storrs, “The Rhetorical Situation and Transfer of Writing Knowledge from Basic Writing to Writing in the Disciplines”

Katherine Fredlund, University of Memphis, “Writing about Writing Courses and the Graduate Teaching Assistant: Cultivating Disciplinary Understanding in a Diverse English Department”

Edrees Nawabi, Washington State University, “I Know You Are but What Am I? Engaging and Developing Students’ Sense of ‘Good Humor’”

Kristen Nielsen, Boston University, “Beyond the Essay, Beyond Montaigne: Reenvisioning Writing Conventions and Assignments”

2a. Transfer Sessions (From K. Yancey’s Writing Across Contexts blog)

Thursday (3/16)

A.14  Passion Cultivates Long-Term Transfer 

How does passion transfer to long-term literate habits? A theoretical explanation grounded on empirical research.



Barbara George, Kent State University

Melody Gustafson, Kent State University

Uma Krishnan, Kent State University

A.17 Tracing Transfer: Examining Teaching for Transfer in Three Curricular Sites

This panel presents the preliminary findings of a multi-institutional, multisite research project: the Transfer of Transfer Project.

C 123


Matt Davis, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Liane Robertson, William Paterson University

Joyce R. Walker, Illinois State University, Normal

Respondent: Kathleen Blake Yancey, Florida State University

B.16 Transitions and Transfers in Technical and Professional Communities

Explorations of transfer and transitioning into the workplace.



Brian Fitzpatrick, George Mason University, “Didn’t Get the Memo: Refining Professional Writing Transfer Strategies through the Study of Authentic Writing Spaces”

Jessica McCaughey, The George Washington University, “Didn’t Get the Memo: Refining Professional Writing Transfer Strategies through the Study of Authentic Writing Spaces”

CP Moreau, Carnegie Mellon University, “From College to the Cubicle: A Multiple-Voiced Inquiry into the Literate Practices of Recent College Graduates Entering the Professional Workplace”

Lisa Sperber, University of California, Davis, “Using Threshold Concepts in Writing in the Sciences and Health Sciences”

C.15 What Transfers? Developing Research Instruments to Assess Whether Comparative Genre Analysis Helps Students Transfer Rhetorical Knowledge across Contexts

Evaluating survey instruments designed to assess whether students are prepared to transfer rhetorical knowledge from FYC to future academic work.



Ana Cooke, Carnegie Mellon University, “‘Troubling’ Comparative Genre Analysis”

Danielle Wetzel, Carnegie Mellon University, “Do Students Perceive Comparative Genre Analysis as a Transferable Method?”Laura Wilder, University at Albany, SUNY, “Describing the Signposts That Signal Positive Transfer”

Joanna Wolfe, Carnegie Mellon University, “Does Comparative Genre Analysis Prepare Students to Analyze Unfamiliar Writing Prompts?”

E.30 Students as “Agents of Integration” and Social Change: Cultivating Transfer between the Classroom and Community 

Through studies of students’ co- and extracurricular community engagement, we explore ways to support transfer beyond classroom contexts.

Portland Ballroom 258


Sarah Hart Micke, University of Denver, “Students Teaching Writing: Cultivating Transfer in a Community Literacy Organization”

Megan Kelly, University of Denver, “Lessons from the ‘Campaign Toolbox’: What We Can Learn about Composition from Student Activist Organizations”

Heather Martin, University of Denver, “Self-Directed Service in the Composition Classroom: Opportunities for Agency and Transfer”

TSIG.11 Teaching for Transfer (TFT) SIG 

In this Special Interest Group session, we’ll introduce TFT quickly before breaking into small sessions addressing several issues, including misconceptions about TFT; TFT in FYC; TFT in upper-level writing courses; and specific adaptations to the TFT curriculum. In addition, we’ll forecast other opportunities to learn about TFT.


SpeakerKathleen Blake Yancey, Florida State University

Friday (3/17)

F.33 Teaching for Transfer beyond First-Year Composition: Professional and Business Writing

Presenters consider using teaching for transfer beyond first-year writing.



Jann Harris, University of Nevada, Reno, “Remixing the Old and the New: Cultivating the TFT Metaphor”

Patricia Jenkins, University of Alaska Anchorage, “Applying TFT to an Upper-Division Professional Writing Course: Broadening the Curricular Reach”

Cynthia Johnson, Miami University, “Broadening the Transfer Landscape: Cultivating Transfer-Focused Writing Curricula beyond Composition Programs”

Nicole Varty, Wayne State University, “Flexible Writing in Literate Ecologies: A Longitudinal Study of Student Writing Knowledge Transfer into, during, and after First-Year Writing”

F.51 Cultivating Transfer with the Teaching-for-Transfer Writing Curriculum: A National Multi-Institutional Study

This panel shares findings from a two-year and four-year college multiinstitutional study on the efficacy of the Teaching for Transfer curriculum.


Speakers: Sonja Andrus, University of Cincinnati/Blue Ash College, OH

Sharon Mitchler, Centralia College

Tonya Ritola, University of California Santa Cruz

Kara Taczak, University of Denver

Howard Tinberg, Bristol Community College

G.39 Cultivating Knowledge to Foster Program Development: Utilizing Data from a Five-Year Study of a Large Advanced Writing Program

The panel discusses a survey of more than 8,500 students in advanced writing courses, looking at issues of transfer, diversity, and WPA awareness.


Friday, 9:30–10:45 a.m.

Speakers: Dana Ferris, University of California, Davis

Hogan Hayes, California State University, Sacramento

Sean McDonnell, University of California, Davis

H.13 Change Agents in the Workplace: How MA Graduates Transfer Rhetorical Knowledge into Action

We will show how our MA alumni use the transfer of rhetorical and pedagogical knowledge as change agents in their workplaces.


Chair: Nancy Mack, Wright State University

Speakers: Melissa Faulkner, Cedarville University, “One MA Alum’s Experiences in University and Community Contexts”

Nancy Mack, Wright State University, “What Our MA Alumni Use Every Day: Transfer of Curricular Values”

David Seitz, Wright State University, “The Transfer of Rhetorical Knowledge to Create Workplace Change”

H.32 Sharing Threshold Concepts as the Foundation for Integrated Curricula, Collaborative Assessment, and Learning Transfer across Library-Writing Partnerships

IRB-approved study exploring co-teaching of shared threshold concepts for long-term transfer across writing programs and library sessions.


Speakers: Cooper Day, Texas State University

Brittney Johnson, St. Edward’s University

Moriah McCracken, St. Edward’s University

I.49 Creating a Transferable Sense of a Writing Self: Findings from a Longitudinal Study of WAW

A longitudinal study of learning transfer from writing-about-writing courses shows transfer as a function of a writer’s sense of self.


Chair: Doug Downs, Montana State University, Bozeman

Speakers: Doug Downs, Montana State University, Bozeman, “Transfer or Transformation? Taking New Selves to New Sites of Writing”

Kim Hoover, University of Pittsburgh, “Kinds of Consciousness: Affect, Metacognition, and Cosmic Minds?”

Miles Nolte, Montana State University, Bozeman, “Watch Out for That Exigence: What Military and Commercial Vessel Training Might Demonstrate about Facilitating Student Engagement in FYC”

Mark Schlenz, Montana State University, Bozeman, “Actualizing Selves in Universes of Discourse: Creativity, Identity, and Exigence in Metacognitive Transfer”

J.12 Transfer, Habits of Mind, and Threshold Concepts: Trends Redefining the Fields

Participants describe lines of inquiry that are becoming increasingly important to understanding student writing for the purposes of pedagogical, programmatic, and institutional accountability.


Chair: Kelsie Hope Walker, University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Speakers: Christopher Blankenship, Salt Lake Community College, “The Frame and the Foil: Integrating Threshold Concepts and Outcomes Assessment in First-Year Composition”

Meghan Dykema, Florida State University, “Communicating Disciplinary Knowledge through Accreditation-Based Writing and Learning Initiatives”

J.24 Cultivating (Meta)Transfer: Changing Individual, Programmatic, and Institutional Dispositions through a Revisioning of Stretch

Revisiting stretch with reflections on instructor and institutional dispositions, text analysis, and autoethnographic case studies.


Chair: Lisa Tremain, Humboldt State University, “Theoretical Implications of Meta-Transfer”

Speakers: Marianne Ahokas, Humboldt State University, “Disposition: It’s Not Just for Students Anymore”

Sarah Ben-Zvi, Humboldt State University, “In the Process of Transformation: Planning Our Future Research and Practice”

Kerry Marsden, Humboldt State University, “Institutional Dispositions: When the Deficit Model Is Transferred to Stretch”

Erin Sullivan, Humboldt State University, “Harnessing Constraint: How Disappointment and Frustration Fueled Our Reflection and Desire for Transformation”

K.10 Writing about Writing and Teaching for Transfer

Speakers consider the efficacy of Writing about Writing in multiple venues and genres.


Chair: Kenlea Pebbles, Michigan State University

Speakers: Veronica Flanagan, University of California, Santa Cruz, “Teaching First-Year Composition in a College Core Course”

Joel Heng Hartse, Simon Fraser University, “Implementing a Writingabout-Writing Approach in a High-Stakes Foundational Writing Course”

Ariel Zepeda, California State University, San Bernardino, “Reimagining Transfer through Multimodal Re-mediation”

K.14 Transfer’s Evolution: Changing Our Terms, Interrogating Our Methodologies for Studying Transfer

A roundtable discussion about the changing terms for naming and methodologies for researching transfer.

Portland Ballroom 258

Chair: Michael-John DePalma, Baylor University, Waco, Texas

Speakers: Anis Bawarshi, University of Washington, Seattle

Dan Fraizer, Springfield College, MA

Kali Mobley, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Mary Jo Reiff, University of Kansas, Lawrence

Jeffrey Ringer, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Alisa Russell, University of Kansas, Lawrence

K.17 Emergent Transfer in Action: Researching Transfer of Learning in Writing Centers

This panel will engage attendees in extended conversation to analyze potential moments of transfer in writing center consultations.


Speakers: R. Mark Hall, University of Central Florida

Bradley Hughes, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Rebecca Nowacek, Marquette University

Saturday (3/18)

L.27 Genre and Transfer

Presenters focus on graduate teaching assistant (GTA) training and understanding diverse genre approaches to teaching.


Chair: Denisha Harris, California State University, San Bernardino

Speakers: Melissa Bugdal, University of Connecticut, Storrs, “The Rhetorical Situation and Transfer of Writing Knowledge from Basic Writing to Writing in the Disciplines”

Katherine Fredlund, University of Memphis, “Writing about Writing Courses and the Graduate Teaching Assistant: Cultivating Disciplinary Understanding in a Diverse English Department”

Edrees Nawabi, Washington State University, “I Know You Are but What Am I? Engaging and Developing Students’ Sense of ‘Good Humor’”

Kristen Nielsen, Boston University, “Beyond the Essay, Beyond Montaigne: Reenvisioning Writing Conventions and Assignments”

Cultivating Change across Student Contexts: Transfer across Secondary and Postsecondary Composition Classrooms

This panel approaches long-term transfer skills across several levels of composition: early and late secondary, first year, and program-wide.


Chair: Brandon Abdon, The Advanced Placement Program, “Necessity of Transfer across Contexts”

Saturday, 10:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Speakers: Sheila Carter-Tod, Virginia Tech, “Weaving University Writing Program Outcomes into High School Writing Curricula”

Martha Davis, Norwalk High School, “The High School Side of a High School and College Collaboration”

John Golden, Portland Public Schools, “Alignment of Composition and Analysis Skills from High School to Higher Ed”

John Marshall, Riverpoint Academy, “Collaborating with ‘Beyond High School’ Stakeholders for Transfer of Composition Skills”

Mary Trachsel, University of Iowa, “The College Side of a High School and College Collaboration”

L.43 Bridging the Gap: Cultivating the Capacity to Create Transfer between High School Writing and FYW

This roundtable of high school and college teachers answers the question: how can we bridge the gap between high school and college writing?

Portland Ballroom 254

Speakers: Brianna Cline, Lake City High School

Caroline Hall, University of Idaho

Kirsten Pomerantz, Lake City High School

Gwen Reed, Lake City High School

Krystal Wu, Catlin Gabel, Portland, OR

Roundtable Leader: Barbara Kirchmeier, University of Idaho, Moscow

M.33 Video Pedagogy and Teaching for Transfer across Media

This panel investigates the role of video composition in teaching for transfer across assignments in first-year writing.


Speakers: Angela Berkley, University of Michigan, “Cultivating Real Audiences: From Viewers to Readers”

Catherine Jostock, Oakland University, “Research into Meaning: Primary Research in Video Composition and Its Relation to Problem Solving, Organization, and Self-Awareness”

Lauren Rinke, Oakland University, “Visual Analysis and Investigation: Cementing Rhetorical Appeals and ‘Real Life’ through Video Composing”

Crystal VanKooten, Oakland University, “Using Interviews and Observations to Look for Transfer across Media”table of high school and college teachers answers the question:

WAW and Business Writing: What WAW offers Business Communications Students

WAW and Business Writing: What WAW offers Business Communications Students

Geoffrey Clegg
The Pennsylvania State University–University Park

I have used Writing About Writing for the last five years in my lower and upper level composition classes; however, due to a career transition (i.e. no longer being a graduate student), I find myself in the familiar yet different territory of business communication. While the teaching of business writing follows the familiar shuffle of our other composition courses, I have begun to rethink the value of what WAW may bring to this class specifically.

I know that you are most likely saying, “Seriously, this isn’t that big of a deal. It’s a pretty simple shift,” and I agree with that sentiment. Business writing follows the same basic conventions of all other forms of composition courses in that it stresses the rhetorical situation, audience analysis, attention to detail, and style. It is my belief, and seemingly only my belief at this moment, that elements of our approaches to FYW that are inspired or directly linked to WAW are of aid to those of us who teach primarily business students. After visiting the 2015 Association for Business Communication (ABC) conference and some small experimentation in my classroom feel a bit more comfortable laying out how.

For those who have not taught business or technical communication, the learning outcomes for these courses place a great deal of emphasis on the crafting of messages for diverse audiences inside and outside the workplace, planning effective and persuasive reports, creating resumes and cover letters, and sometimes the use of social media. To effectively begin to write toward these genres students should be able to adequately understand audience, literacies, discursive environments, rhetoric, and modality. These threshold concepts are thoroughly covered by our WAW courses through the variety of readings and assessments that engage students in understanding how each portion works in cohesion with the other.

Audience Awareness in WAW and Business Writing

By asking FYW students to reimagine audience in light of literacy and discursive needs, WAW prepares students to examine and understand the different ticks of the workplace. Let’s consider two presentations from the ABC conference:

  • Different Problems, Similar Goals: ESL Students and the Business Communication Writing Course (Marla Mahar, Oklahoma State University)
  • Generational Communication in the Workplace (Evaline Echols, Lee University)

Both presentations focused on adaptation to new linguistic norms, specifically cultural and linguistic shifts one must make whether in the workplace or classroom. Mahar’s central argument fed upon the need for international students to be placed within a separate business writing classroom due to the anxieties of L2 student writers. Echols’ presentation focused more on the intergenerational nature of workplaces and the way in which the four different generations (Traditionalist, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y/Millennials) interacted with each other. Both presentations have their place within business writing but also hold a specific link to WAW in that they rely upon having students understand the history and rationalities of why we compose in specific ways. Specifically, our work on having students understand the vital link between literacies, discursive moves, and ethnography within the WAW classroom provides a starting point for them to engage in understanding the unique natures of new environments.

The readings and assessments we give our students in WAW classrooms should create the bridge between professional and academic writing. I have covered material in my WAW FYW courses that prepares students for the rigors of what is to come, especially in relation to each of the presentations mentioned above. Having students, especially ESL students, understand the history and reasoning for why they are crafting a document in a specific way may not entirely help them overcome anxiety but it is a start. In fact, as I have previously experienced with teaching majority L2 students at Texas A&M University-Commerce, giving students access to the professional conversations about writing helps them explore their own sense of agency.

Experimenting with WAW in Business Writing at Penn State University

My time at Penn State has been a bit different as my ENGL 202D: Business Writing students were not trained in WAW during their FYW course sequence. However, this has let me experiment a bit more with them as the readings will be new to each of my students. I have slowly experimented with injecting WAW into my business writing teaching: I have made explicit use of Anne Lamott’s “Shitty First Drafts.” Stuart Greene’s “Argument as Conversation,” and John Swales’ “The Concept of a Discourse Community” in my courses. I picked these three readings primarily because of their viability to the writing assignments prescribed by the curriculum. Swales’ essay connects so easily to the nature of business communication because it focuses students’ attention on audience awareness, insider/outsider needs, and the multiplicity of genres inherent in their future field.

Students, especially my few international students (five total in all three sections), have responded well to these essays because they take the pressure off of instant perfection, the purpose of business documents, and to whom they will be addressing in different circumstances. We have engaged in conversations based purely on the nature of the needs of discourse communities ranging from the international environment to different regions of the United States. One of my Panamanian students opened up to the class about their anxieties concerning writing and speaking to their American colleagues in their coming internship. Likewise, my Vietnamese and Chinese students privately fret about their grammatical skills and sometimes under- or over-write as a reaction to thinking about how they are creating meaning in business documents. Using Lamott and Swales’ essays has generally helped these students feel more comfortable with communicating in writing in professional situations, though they still possess anxiety prior to the drafting stage.

To echo back to Echols’ presentation at the ABC conference, we have spent time discussing the generational differences they will encounter in the workplace. It is important that we expose our current students to the central idea that they will be communicating cross-generationally with others, and we must also convince them that there are conventions of literacy that are also deeply involved in how each generational group handles material and writing conventions in the workplace. In terms of literacy, I want them to think about the generational divide posed by technologies that have developed over the course of many of their future peers careers. Perhaps using Danielle DeVoss or Dennis Baron’s essays will help with this gap, something our current textbook does not speak to. I have not yet adapted WAW material to cover the literacy aspect of my unit, though. I plan on doing so over the Christmas break when I have more time.

Overall, I feel that there is a place for WAW in the business writing curriculums many universities use. While I am merely experimenting with injecting a small number of readings into my courses, I feel that this has produced some success as students feel a bit more comfortable with the reasoning for why they must switch different genres constantly in professional environments. My hope is that I can further develop my passion for WAW into something more substantial to the business writing classroom in order to help students develop further as adept writers.

To End on a Question:
You’ve already stopped reading this by now. But I have a question for all of you! Would you be willing to use WAW in a business, technical, science, or non-humanities writing course?