All posts by John H. Whicker

New empirical article on WAW and Transfer

Hi all,

Pardon the self-promotion, but I wanted to let everyone know about my new article just published in Across the Disciplines. It is a pilot survey study of transfer from a content-analysis approach to WAW with elements also borrowed from TFT to upper-level writing intensive courses. I found that the WAW-TFT course did lead to a statistically significant improvement in transfer compared to students in the sample who had experienced the previous FYW curriculum or another curriculum at a previous institution.

Click to access whicker.pdf


We Are All Writing Teachers*: Returning to a Common Place | 2021CCCCs CFP
April 7-10 Spokane, WA

The Writing About Writing (WAW) Standing Group and the WAW Steering Committee invite proposals for the 2021 WAW Sponsored Panel at CCCC. 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 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 interested in proposals reporting on ongoing research into WAW programs and courses. And we especially invite proposals that connect WAW to the 2021 conference theme–We Are All Writing Teachers*: Returning to a Common Place.

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. Our timeline for proposal submissions is purposefully ahead of the May 28 CCCCs proposal deadline so that WAW proposals that are declined may still be submitted for the general conference. Here are some important dates:

● The WAW Standing Group will accept proposals through May 18, 2020.
● The WAW Proposal Review Team will email results to proposers by May 22, 2020.

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. Please describe the focus of the proposed session: 1000 words or less for a concurrent panel, 250 words or less for an individual proposal. Please also clearly select three area clusters for your proposal.

Be sure that your proposal considers the conference theme 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 performative, 5) how it is inclusive, aware of social justice concerns, and/or engaged with political aims, discourses, and ideas, and 6) how it adds new or underrepresented voices or texture to the discussion.

If you have questions and/or concerns, feel free to email Colin Charlton at

CCCC 2018 Pittsburgh Panel Proposal

Samuel Stinson and I are putting together a panel to propose for Cs next year in Pittsburgh. Potentially, we could submit this for consideration as the standing group panel, but if it is not chosen for that, we will still submit normally. We are looking for two or three others to join us in a roundtable discussion of different approaches to WAW, the differences in theory and axiology behind them, and how WAW proponents should understand, discuss, and debate these differences. The following is our current draft of the proposal introduction:

How do you WAW? Enacting Writing about Writing pedagogies: Which one? What is your goal, and by what should your performance be Measured?

Writing about writing (Downs & Wardle 2007) has become an increasingly popular approach to teaching first-year writing courses, but as with writing instruction in general, individual instructors enact and perform WAW differently (see Downs & Wardle 2012). While Wardle and Downs (2014), as the most well-known WAW proponents have largely downplayed the significance of these variations in WAW, with Downs going so far as to say that “there really isn’t a wrong way to do things; there are practically infinite number of good ways” to teach a WAW course (296), choices about how to implement, to perform, WAW in a classroom imply differences in theory, axiology, and, therefore, desired outcomes. Other approaches to WAW (see Bishop 2004; DeJoy 2004; Dew 2003; Sargent & Paraskevas 2005), while they all forward writing studies scholarship as content, select different scholars, require different assignments, and seek to see different developments in students’ writing, requiring that both students and WAW approaches be assessed differently in order to avoid the category mistake of teaching for one result but assessing for another (see Fulkerson 1979).

In this roundtable, the speakers will each briefly describe their WAW course and the values (axiology) that underlie their choices about which writing concepts, purposes, and pedagogical commitments they emphasize in their courses. Second, the presenters will discuss what WAW proponents should do with the diversity of values evident in different approaches to WAW.


We are particularly looking for presenters who employ WAW approaches that focus on language, literacy, writing studies as a discipline, identity and culture, etc. My own contribution will be on the hybrid TFT-WAW approach we’ve implemented as our standard FYC curriculum at my institution. We’d like as wide a variety in the 4 or 5 presenters as possible. If you are interested, contact me at with a brief summary of your WAW course.