There are writing centers at almost every college and university in the United States, and there is an emerging body of professional discourse, research, and writing about them. The goal of this book is to open, formalize, and further the dialogue about research in and about writing centers. The original essays in this volume, all written by writing center researchers, directly address current concerns in several ways: they encourage studies, data collection, and publication by offering detailed, reflective accounts of research; they encourage a diversity of approaches by demonstrating a range of methodologies (e.g., ethnography, longitudinal case study; rhetorical analysis, teacher research) available to both veteran and novice writing center professionals; they advance an ongoing conversation about writing center research by explicitly addressing epistemological and ethical issues. The book aims to encourage and guide other researchers, while at the same time offering new knowledge that has resulted from the studies it analyzes.
"The articles collected in this volume provide a long and wide view of writing center research….Like many of the book's contributors, my time to read-in-the-field is a precious commodity in short supply; this book offered a good way to catch-up."
—The Writing Lab
"Exactly what those of us interested in writing centers want and need right now. The editors have a very good handle on the state of the field….What I like best is the way the essays address the issue of research and at the same time present results from the research….These essays inspired me to conduct research in the writing center I direct…this is one big plus of the book."
—Carrie S. Leverenz
Florida State University
"The editors are right on the mark when they say that the field needs more research and more diverse research on the work of writing centers….This proposed collection will do much to enhance the status of scholarly inquiry in writing centers."
Arizona State University
Contents: Preface. Introduction. Part I: Writing Centers as Sites of Self-Reflective Inquiry. A. Gillam, The Call to Research: Early Representations of Writing Center Research. E. Boquet, Disciplinary Action: Writing Center Work and the Making of a Researcher. P. Gillespie, Beyond the House of Lore: WCenter as Research Site. N. Lerner, Insider as Outsider: Participant Observation as Writing Center Research. Part II: Writing Centers as Sites of Institutional Critique and Contextual Inquiry. M. Harris, Writing Center Administration: Making Local, Institutional Knowledge in Our Writing Centers. P. Carino, Reading Our Own Words: Rhetorical Analysis and the Institutional Discourse of Writing Centers. J. Olson, D.J. Moyer, A. Falda, Student-Centered Assessment Research in the Writing Center. J.M. Neff, Capturing Complexity: Using Grounded Theory to Study Writing Centers. S. Thomas, J. Bevins, M.A. Crawford, The Portfolio Project: Sharing Our Stories. D. DeVoss, Computer Literacies and the Roles of the Writing Center. Part III: Writing Centers as Sites of Inquiry Into Practice. K.B. Yancey, Seeing Practice Through Their Eyes: Reflection as Teacher. N. Welch, The Return of the Suppressed: Tutoring Stories in a Transitional Space. J. Rodby, The Subject Is Literacy: General Education and the Dialectics of Power and Resistance in the Writing Center. J.M. Lutes, Why Feminists Make Better Tutors: Gender and Disciplinary Expertise in a Curriculum-Based Tutoring Program.