Getting up and running….

Dear Writing Researchers,

I appreciated speaking with you all last Monday about individual experiences with research in the past, as well as the notion of an ever-evolving research identity. I also appreciated hearing a bit more about your own concerns/challenges as you each set out to design your own research agenda for the Writing Studies program.  Have your own intuitive inquiries felt thwarted in the context of academic expectation in the past?  Have you experienced the “liminality” that was alluded to in our former reading by Purdy & Walker?  These are reflections that I feel are worthwhile to engage in as you set out to define your own work.  We all seek to find a balance between our inherent passions/interests and the demands of professional tradition and expectation.  In many ways, this course will be about thinking through and navigating that balance.

We have identified people who will design the interactive discussion for each night of class, so the schedule is starting to take shape.  In addition, each of you has identified a topic that you would like to pursue (in terms of finding specific research articles that will influence your future methodologies).  I will continue to look for material that might aid some of you (**i.e. Stephanie – research on social justice in the writing classroom; Katherine – examples of how to develop a quantitative/qualitative inquiry or data-bearing studies; Mary Kate – research when writing young adult fiction, Hope – research paradigms for creative writers; Hailey: digital humanities research).  In addition to my own search into these topics (as I refer to my own library and files), please do start a search on your own as well.  Remember the reference librarians are also there to aid you in this kind of effort and can help with the “narrow down”.  Next week we will continue to fill up the schedule with actual articles that will fill out our proposed Reading Roster.  **Please remember that we need to have all articles that end up on our final Reading Roster in PDF format, so that w
can add them here with ease as we continue to annotate together via

Regarding the tool for social annotation:  I have installed the digital tool into our course site here, so you should be able to use it to take public notes on and aspect of this website.  I have created anther tab/page on our site called Reading Roster, when we will place all final required reading selections for the course.  At the moment, please read the Purdy & Walker with the tool.

In order to do this, all you need to do is set a basic account by clicking on the link.  Then you can annotate any page on this course website.  Here is a tutorial to get you started as well.  Please note, since I have installed on to this website, you do not need to get the “chrome extension”.  Just sign up, and start to tinker on any page from this website that you want to annotate.

So the “to do list” for next class:

1.  Please read the Purdy & Walker with the tool.

2.  Please blog about the reading and your first experience using  You can also discuss you process so far in looking for your own contributions to our final reading roster list.

3. Please tweet your blog to our #WritingResearch hashtag

4.  Choose your assigned readings for your discussion lead evening and prepare PDF files of your selections so that we can complete our course calendar.

See you soon,

Dr. Zamora

Ps.  I want to mention that I posted another resource for all of you in our Shared Resources and Collaborative Docs section of the course.    The resource is entitled Guide to Online Academic Research as seems quite useful to me.  I invite you to check the site out for your future reference.



Getting Started!

This is going to be a great seminar class.  Last week we discussed  the overall purpose of the course, and began to think about our “research identity”.  There is ground to cover in understanding what research in Writing Studies can/might entail.  And perhaps there is even more ground to cover in discovering the kind of research you might like to pursue in the future.  We will cover a great deal of foundational material together in this key seminar, as we strive to discover different forms of research in the field.  When I see you next, we will start by picking up on that early discussion of your current research identity.

The intimate nature of the course will lend itself to an atmosphere of attentive discussion and thoughtful group reflection.  We will ponder the shared readings and consider many examples of established research protocols, as we continue to develop a more personal sense of ourselves as researchers in the field of Writing Studies.

For next week:
-Send me the url for your class blog which will be syndicated on this site.

-Please read the article by James Purdy and Joyce Walker:  Liminal Spaces and Research Identity: The Construction of Introductory Composition Students as Researchers.  This reading will jump start our opening reflections for the course.

-Please search our class Reading Roster for chapters or articles of relative interest and choose a couple of readings for your discussion lead evening.  While you are reviewing the roster, remember that the two texts marked with asterisks on our list are considered our “anchor texts”.  Please try to start your consideration by selecting some material from the anchor texts, and then also compliment your “anchor text” choices with further supplemental ideas and articles to represent your more individual research interests.

When we meet next Monday:

-We will open with a discussion of our developing research identities.

-We will also have a discussion of the Purdy & Walker article and reflect further on research identity in the field.

-We will have a workshop on – our group annotation tool that is an integral part of the course and our weekly procedures. Everyone will sign up for an account at that time, and we will all “test drive” our first group annotation effort.  The goal is to make sure that everyone is ready and clear on how to use this tool.

-After break, our last part of class will be dedicated to planning the course schedule.  Please come with some possible dates in mind, and some possible readings lined up (i.e. first choice, second choice…).  We will negotiate as a group until we have our course schedule settled.

See you on Monday!  Looking forward to it,

Dr. Zamora

Welcome to #WritingResearch

As you all know, “Writing Research & Methods” is one of two courses required for your MA in Writing Studiesdegree.  This course is dedicated to the notion of research, and helping you understand/discover yourself as a researcher.  I know it will serve as a foundation for many of you as you carry on your academic journey in Writing Studies.

Our weekly meetings will be intimate gatherings wherein we engage in the rigors of theoretical inquiry and further consider research methodology in the field of Writing Studies.  In this setting, I am confident that we will stumble upon and uncover many new ideas & understandings together throughout the course of the semester.
Our first night will be  a basic orientation dedicated to reviewing the course information, course reading roster, and course schedule (these documents in total make up a traditional syllabus).  I look forward to getting to know each of you even better this semester!


Dr. Zamora

ENG 5002