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CCCC 2019: Wednesday Afternoon Workshops

Afternoon Workshops

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 – 1:30 to 5:00 p.m.

(AW.01) “Grantwriting and Community Engagement Pedagogy: How to Create and Adapt a Course for Your Particular Milieu”

Level: All

Cluster: Community, Civic & Public

Abstract: Facilitators will introduce grant-writing pedagogy through the lens of ethics and social justice, then move participants towards designing a course adapted to their particular communities.

Full description:

In this workshop, facilitators will share our experiences with grantwriting pedagogy, then move participants towards considering how to design a course within the particular context of their communities at two and four year colleges and universities. The workshop will engage participants at every turn in relation to pedagogy, social justice, and the ethics of community engagement; we will aim to expand their expectations of what student writing can accomplish.

In “The Community Grant Writing Project: A Flexible Service-Learning Model,” (Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 2014; 18:1), Courtney Stevens lays out one potential structure for grantwriting pedagogy based on her work at Williamette in writing intensive first year seminars (263): her students in a Poverty and Public Policy themed course volunteered 12 hours a semester with Habitat for Humanity and Farmworker Housing Development Corporation while then providing “grant writing materials…[and] research and narratives for prospective grant proposals (267). The community engagement office at Williamette helped Stevens identify and interview partners, then partners visited three times: first, to present an assignment description to students, second, to present drafts, and third to finalize and reflect. Students also wrote in other genres related to the course and wrote a “traditional term paper.”

While Stevens’ model worked well for her, we recognize that because each university and each instructor differs so greatly from one to the other, we want to extend the range of possible manifestations of a grantwriting course. For this reason, we will offer a workshop that encourages participants to construct a model that is unique to the specific needs of their communities and that takes into consideration the teaching of cultural competence as a necessary core to this pedagogy. Some of our workplaces, surprisingly, still don’t have the support of a community engagement office. In other contexts, grantwriting works better as a component in an upper level or graduate course. In others still, service learning where students travel to sites just isn’t feasible with the constraints of the curriculum.

Grant writing also provides composition instructors with a unique intersection between the twin themes of performance rhetoric and composition. Because grant readers (reviewers, awards committees at nonprofit organizations) represent a finite, specific, knowable audience, the grant application is a tangible rhetorical act. Additionally, the grantwriting process is an embodied performance intended to persuade an audience to act on the presented idea–to award the proposers a sum of money to enable them to perform specific actions. A culminating performance is often when students get the chance to lead work meetings with outside contstituents or when guest speakers, who present on content that reflects their writing, embody the research they’ve been working so hard on.

The multi-institutional and interdisciplinary work of this workshop takes the stance that privilege is meant to be shared, and that this act of sharing takes a lifetime of effort; thus, we believe that not only students–but we must also position ourselves in relation to the “other” or to those who have less privilege than we do (urban middle-schoolers in the City, refugees, etc.). The work of grantwriting pedagogy is centered around the historical and contemporary connections between university and community in the sense that writing is practiced as a way to advocate for full and equal participation of all groups. We acknowledge the legacies of injustice in our regions, we acknowledge our privileges, and we see how the work we do can have a positive impact on our collective futures. The curriculum ideas we discuss balance the practical aspects of workplace writing with theorizing and reflecting specifically on the social and cultural climate of our homes, what NPOs do there, why they do it, and on writing in relation to our communities, advocacy, and altruism. We believe in partnering with at least 50% organizations that not only serve people of diverse backgrounds but that are led by those folks as well.

Facilitator One created and runs a project at Towson University called Grantwriting In Valued Environments (G.I.V.E.), a university supported project of the English Department, that advances students’ professional writing goals by connecting their coursework to the writing needs of small non-profit organizations in the Baltimore/Washington region. Students so far have raised $173,530 all going directly to NPOs; we just submitted our largest grant of $300,000. Regularly, students also participate through internships, independent studies, and part-time paid employment. Facilitator One also leads Intergroup Dialogue workshops and is a vocal advocate for racial and social justice on campus.

Facilitator Two began teaching grant writing at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in 2005. Originally offered as a special topics class, Grant Writing developed into a stand-alone course and is taught at the undergraduate level and at the graduate level in both the English and Masters of Public Administration programs. It also was the genesis of a Writing for Nonprofits certificate program in the English department. Grant Writing is offered in both “face to face” and in online programs. Students and faculty have partnered with a variety of nonprofit agencies and have written funded grant applications totaling more than $700,000 on behalf of various agencies.

Facilitator Three, a renowned Disability Studies scholar, will model that relative newbie experience in terms of grantwriting pedagogy and talk about teaching a hybrid grant-writing and creative writing course.

(AW.02) Handcrafted Rhetorics: DIY and the Public Power of Made Things

Sponsored by: Handcrafted Rhetorics SIG

Level: All

Cluster: Community, Civic & Public

Abstract: Work with local artist-educators at a Pittsburgh makerspace to reconsider activist and pedagogical practices in composition.

Full description:

Attention to makerspaces and interest in leveraging their energy and practices are now well-established in Rhetoric and Composition. In these open, community-based production facilities, members not only share machines, rooms, and materials, but also work under an ethos of distributed knowledge and cooperatively-taught skills. Such DIY spaces are now commonplace in many US cities, including Pittsburgh. Having run locally-attuned workshops at CCCC in 2015 (Tampa) and 2017 (Portland), in 2018 (Kansas City) we left the convention space and ran the Handcrafted Rhetorics workshop ( at Print League (, a community print shop. After successfully navigating the logistics of an off-site workshop—and hearing from our participants about how important such a change in venue was—we propose to again take participants into our host city, to a Pittsburgh makerspace.

Over the last several years, scholars and practitioners in our field alike have turned to histories and theories of craft, making, multimodal rhetoric, cultural rhetorics, and (post)process-oriented pedagogies to consider the ways that 21st century composers create/make/labor under particular conditions and with/in particular environments (Farmer, 2013; Prins, 2012; Palmeri, 2012; Sheridan, Ridolfo, and Michel, 2012; Shipka, 2011; Brown & Rivers, 2013). As part of that conversation, DIY and craft must be understood as concepts that have the potential to circulate through streams of radical and entrepreneurial rhetorics; that is, as a form of risk that is deeply embedded within capitalism, DIY and handcrafted composition can be scripted as acts of free-market logic or as transgressive—even revolutionary—public performance. Sometimes these two scripts get entangled within each other.

As such, we are teaming up with area makers, including Dr. Melissa Rogers, a local educator and artist who works with Pittsburgh arts organizations and nonprofits like Assemble (, Prototype (, and the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse (, to structure a workshop that uses handcrafted rhetorics as a means for attention seeking (Mueller), embodying composition for public spaces in ways that challenge the dominant institutions that often seek to standardize, shape, and direct them (Richardson). In Pittsburgh, for instance, artists have been fighting union-busting tactics from area museums, struggling to challenge traditional positions that nonprofits don’t have money to pay artists. As such, teaching artists are an underpaid, overworked, and often feminized pool of labor that many cities rely on to fuel their culture industries and, concurrently, gentrification.

This hands-on workshop will present participants with an opportunity to engage with a cross-section of DIY practitioners—compositionists, artists, teachers, feminists, activists, and librarians—to address the inequalities perpetuated by the neoliberalization of the arts and humanities. In this way, this workshop brings members of our field together with teacher-artists to engage in craft activism — through yarnbombing, banner hangings, subversive cross-stitch, or zine creation (to name just a few possibilities). Our previous workshops have taught us that such participation engenders important dialogue through the act of making in response to local and national exigencies; in this case, we will use handcrafted rhetorics to address specific injustices but also as a means for thinking through broader questions such as:

-Are arts or other maker-approaches education recognized as a performance of labor? Likewise, how could performance render such labor more visible?
-How might we, in DIY fashion, compose new social and political movements in real time with what we make with our hands?
-How could we compose against, perform against, the exploitation of our own and other people’s arts and activist labor?
-How can we help to change the rhetoric of making/teaching art as a “labor of love,” or what critical librarian Fobazi Ettarh (2018) has dubbed “vocational awe” (

1:30 p.m. – Meet at space; introduce people and tools
2:15 p.m. – Making
3:45 p.m. – Break
4-5:00 p.m. – Discuss the questions above, and also how to take these conversations back to our institutions and communities.

Our goals for this workshop include:
-developing a better understanding of DIY crafting, art, and making practices as labor, and of the work that community arts leaders do in cities like Pittsburgh, articulating some of the ways in which educators, craft practitioners, artists, and makers might productively balance activism and complicity within neoliberalizing cultural institutions
-exploring the relationships between performance, rhetoric, and composition as they are enacted within some of the communities of practice that comprise maker and/or making cultures
-fostering local, participatory crafts activism and political dialogue through hands-on activities that engage Pittsburgh’s built environment and physical spaces.

(AW.03) Bridging the Semiotic Channels: Teaching Discussion and Oral Performance in the Writing Classroom

Level: All

Cluster: First-Year and Advanced Composition

Abstract: This half-day workshop will offer new strategies for encouraging students’ oral participation and for creating more complex and recursive relationships between writing and oral performance.

Full description:

Noting the ways that performance studies can inform rhetorical studies, Bernadette Marie Calafell asserts that performance, “works against dominant conceptions of knowledge by locating itself in and theorizing through the body. […] It embodies and drives a sustained critique of discourse” (116). Building on the potential that Calafell observes, this workshop will consider the methodologies behind the most literally embodied form of discourse that students undergo in our courses: oral classroom participation.

Such a consideration is long overdue, given the enormous role that oral performance plays in students’ classroom experience. In terms of the day-to-day labor we expect students to perform in our classrooms, time spent speaking and listening likely exceeds everything else, including writing. However, relatively few instructors teach students to think about oral participation in the same nuanced terms that we think about writing. Instead, we expect students to teach themselves the genres and objectives of oral discourse and to develop their methods of engagement reflexively, rather than reflectively.

In this workshop, we will examine students’ oral participation as a category of classroom performance that is separate from, but related to, performance in text. Among the key questions we will examine together are:

• How can we teach students to develop and deploy a nuanced set of oral skills in the classroom?
• How can we use textual performance to inspire new kinds of oral performance?
• How can we use technology to change the way students’ written and oral discourses intersect in the classroom?
• How can we use oral performance strategically to engage and accommodate all students, especially students who have been resistant to or uncomfortable with traditional classroom discourses?

The workshop will be structured in three segments, each designed to highlight a critical issue in student oral participation and model pedagogies that presenters have developed to address these issues. In corresponding breakout sessions, participants will have a chance to discuss these pedagogies and offer suggestions of their own. Participants will complete the workshop with new ideas about strategies and assignments that encourage successful oral performance in the writing classroom.

Workshop Agenda

Opening Free Write: 10 min
We will open the session by asking participants to jot down their responses to three questions:
1. What forms of oral performance do you expect student to perform in your classroom?
2. How do these forms of oral performance serve the objectives of your course?
3. What particular skills do students need to participate successfully in these activities?

Session 1: Locating Oral Performance in the Curriculum

Presentation 1 (20 min):
Speaker 1 will discuss the existing scholarship on students’ oral participation, with special emphasis on the disparity between the purposes that students and teachers assign to oral participation and the means we use to teach and assess it. Survey data indicates that both students and faculty define oral participation in complex, multi-genre terms, but instructors rarely teach discussion skills in this way, and both teachers and students tend to evaluate oral participation purely in terms of how many students speak and how often. Speaker 1 will conclude by suggesting a curriculum for teaching oral skills that parallels the methods of the Teaching for Transfer curriculum in FYC.

Breakout 1 (30 min):
In this session, participants will discuss the particular ways that students’ oral participation manifests in their classrooms and the particular skills that students need to participate successfully. This session will also model a game-based approach to class discussion developed by Presenter 1.

Session 2: Using “Social Annotation” to Connect Writing and Speech

Presentation 2 (20 min):
Presenter 2 will introduce “social annotation” as a practice that can bridge the gap between “classroom discussion” and formal academic prose. Beginning with the oft-cited Burkean metaphor of “the [scholarly, academic] conversation,” they will pose a series of questions: Can we make that metaphor more concrete by making the text’s margins a place where multiple student voices enter into dialogue? What happens to “conversation as performance” when we work online, where contemporary students’ experience of the self as performed is most acute? How can the mediating stage of social annotation help transfer the skills addressed by presentation #1 to more formal student writing?

Breakout 2 (30 min):
The technology of choice for this session,, generates shared “margins” via a server where annotations keyed to specific elements of a text are hosted, turning anything from readings on a course website to articles on the open web into annotatable texts. Working in groups, participants will be introduced to social annotation technologies; they will then model an annotation-as-discussion exercise that proposes ways the particular moves characteristic of social annotation can inform face-to-face discussion.

Session 3: Multimodal Arguments, Performance, and Student Engagement

Presentation 3 (20 minutes):
Informed by Andrea Lunsford’s argument that Everything’s an Argument, Speaker 3 will address student performance of argument in alternative, nontraditional, and multimodal formats. Oral performance not only works to help scaffold student skills toward particular writing goals, but also functions as a culminating point in a writing course when students use it to demonstrate what they have learned from/about argument writing. Students first translate and then perform, as part of an oral presentation, an argument in a format other than a writing assignment. Additionally, providing all students an opportunity to create and perform argument in a non-traditional format is an inclusive strategy that invites students who may not write well, who might not enjoy writing, or who experience writing as anxiety producing, a way to demonstrate their understanding of how to construct and support an argument in a format they can perform well. Incorporating such performative strategies, formats, genres, and modalities opens argument up to a wide array of cultural influences and forms representative of all students’ backgrounds and experiences.

Breakout 3 (30 minutes):
Speaker 3 will share digital assignment and representative student projects that perform arguments, and invite participants to share examples from their teaching, Participants can begin, individually or collaboratively, to imagine non-traditional, oral, performative versions of writing assignments they assign in their courses as non-written ‘texts’ that perform the same functions as written essays, and that better demonstrate commitments to inclusive pedagogies.

(AW.04) Performing Anti-Racist Practices at the Writing Program, Departmental, and Institutional Levels and Beyond: Combating Linguistic Racism

Sponsored by: The Language Policy Committee

Level: All

Cluster: Language

Abstract: This workshop will develop a course of action that will embolden the participants to combat linguistic racism at different levels, within and outside academia.

Full description:

Language diversity, language attitudes, and multilingualism are at the center stage of students’ performance as writers, rhetoricians, and communicators in higher education and in a global market. Faculty and writing program administrators play a role in this performance as well. We see the need of supporting and honoring students’ home languages and recognizing the value of linguistic differences as a resource in students’ learning. Lovejoy, Fox, and Weeden (2018) remind us of the underlying values of policies such as “Students’ Right to Their Own Language” when they address the importance of understanding “that the diverse linguistic experiences and abilities students bring with them to writing courses represent a strength, a resource, not a deficit or a barrier” (326). Language differences are a resource, and we must not only create awareness of this but also seek and apply anti-racist practices within and beyond the writing classroom. Performing the teaching of rhetoric and writing requires the performance of anti-racist teaching practices. Discriminating against people for their language is linguistic racism. Only until changes are made at the program, departmental, and institutional levels and beyond can we indeed claim to value language diversity as performers/rhetoric and performers/composition. Only until we work towards these changes can we ensure that what we value in education will be sustained, and only then can we conquer linguistic racism.

In this half-day workshop, we have a major purpose: To work together with participants in discussing how as performers/rhetoric and performers/composition we can combat linguistic racism. We will seek answers to questions such as: What can we do as faculty to transform perceptions of cultural and linguistic literacies and language differences? What can we do as writing program administrators? As university and college administrators? As community members? What are specific anti-racist practices that we can apply in the classroom, the writing program, the department, the institution, the workplace, and the community?

Part I: Performing Anti-Racist Practices at the Program, Departmental, and Institutional Levels
This part of the workshop will focus on the need of performing anti-racist practices at the writing program, departmental, and institutional levels. We will begin by having participants share with us what their institution is like, their institutional context, and what their writing programs consist of. We will address how a multilevel approach can include aspects such as language policies within departments. Others could be: first-year experience programs, writing certificate programs, learning communities, the Writing Center, service-learning projects, and university events. From this discussion, we will move to a group activity. If possible, a short video will be presented, showing educators/scholars performing some type of linguistic justice work.

Activity 1 (small groups): Participants and LPC (Language Policy Committee) members will work in groups and brainstorm possible practices that can be implemented in First-Year and other Writing Programs and at the departmental and institutional levels to stop linguistic racism. Large Post-It Sheets will be used to list these practices. These will be placed on the wall, and each group will present their findings.

Part II: Performing Anti-Racist Practices in the Workplace and the Community
This part of the workshop will center on presenting strategies for combating linguistic racism in the workplace and the community. Examples could include community events, policies, and trainings. A group activity will follow. If possible, a short video will be presented, showing community members performing some type of linguistic justice work.

Activity 2 (small groups): Participants and LPC members will work in groups and brainstorm possible anti-racist linguistic practices that can be implemented in the workplace and the community. Large Post-It Sheets will be used to list these practices. These sheets will be placed on the wall, and each group will present their findings.

After having a discussion of all the listed practices, we will summarize the major findings. We will conclude our workshop with one final activity that will be shared with the group as a whole.

Activity 3 (individual): Each participant will write down ONE practice or strategy he/she will implement in the next year to combat linguistic racism at any of the levels discussed in the workshop. The goal is to create a course of action, a plan that will embolden the participants to combat linguistic racism at different levels, within and outside academia.

Proposed Schedule:

1:30-1:45 p.m. – Introductions, Purpose of Workshop, Overview

1:45-2:10 p.m. – Part I – Performing Anti-Racist Practices at the Program, Departmental, and Institutional Levels
2:10-2:30 p.m. – Small group activity (Activity 1)
2:30-2:50p.m. – Groups report on their findings/proposed practices and strategies
2:50-3:00 p.m. – Large group discussion on anti-racist practices at the program, departmental, and institutional levels

3:00-3:10 p.m. Break

3:10-3:20 p.m. – Part II – Performing Anti-Racist Practices in the Workplace and the Community
3:20- 3:40 p.m. – Small group activity (Activity 2)
3:40-4:00 p.m. – Groups report on their findings/proposed practices and strategies
4:00-4:15 p.m. – Large group discussion on anti-racist practices in the workplace and the community, leading to last activity
4:15-4:25 p.m. – Individual Activity (Activity 3)
4:25-4:45 p.m. – Participants share their proposed practice(s)/course of action for the coming year

4:45-5:00 p.m. – Wrap up and conclusion

(AW.05) Staying woke on campus: Promoting social justice for multilingual students

Sponsored by: Second Language Writing Standing Group

Level: All

Cluster: Language

Abstract: Discuss practical strategies and theoretical approaches to breaking down monolingualism in understanding multilingual identities, campus conversations, learning outcomes, and pedagogy.

Full description:

Vershawn Ashanti Young has called us to explore how performance-composition can “keep us woke bout our responsibilities to antiracism, to practicing class, gender, and social justice.” The Second Language Writing SG takes up this call by focusing on how we as educators can work towards social justice for multilingual students through classroom practices, campus-wide advocacy, and administrative choices. In particular, we recognize that conversations on college campuses around linguistic difference tend to carry “an undercurrent of racial distinctions” (Shuck, 2006), and to be predicated on outdated ideas of multilingual students as no more than “imitation monolinguals” (Gramling, 2016). To bring about social justice for multilingual students, we must shift the conversations to ones that recognize multilinguals’ unique competencies in moving across languages and cultures (Canagarajah, 2013; You 2016).

Our proposed half-day workshop is intended to bring together writing teachers and tutors, administrators, and graduate students to explore questions such as:

• How can we identify our multilingual student populations?
• What aspects of multilingual student identity might we be misunderstanding? How might our labels for multilingual students be harmful?
• How can we take advantage of rhetorics of diversity and globalization at the university level to advocate for our multilingual students?
• What pedagogical practices can we adopt to break down notions of correctness in ways that create spaces for multilingual students to negotiate?

Our workshop will open with remarks from Shanti Bruce of Nova Southeastern University, Rebecca Lorimer Leonard of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Deirdre Vinyard of the University of Washington, Bothell. Drawing on their experiences conducting a cross-institutional language survey funded by a CCCC Research Initiative Grant, their keynote address will examine how the language terms or labels at our disposal sometimes flatten or hide the complexity of language experiences students bring to campus. Their keynote address, “The Complexity of Institutional Language Surveys,” will take participants through the process of designing a survey that aimed to understand the varied linguistic experiences and identities of our students. The keynote will conclude with an interactive activity in which workshop participants consider together how they might shape their own institutional surveys to capture data that best represents what they believe their campus stakeholders need to know.

Next, our roundtables will offer practical strategies for advocating for multilingual students in both classroom practice and administration, through attention to our assumptions about student identity in teaching and campus conversations, the structure of learning outcomes, plagiarism policies and the adjudication process, and our classroom assessment practices. The workshop will conclude with individual and group reflections on how these strategies can best be implemented in our individual contexts.

Participants can expect tangible “take aways” from this workshop, including:
• How to raise faculty and administration awareness of multilingual students’ issues and perspectives
• How to develop localized learning outcomes that push back against monolingual ideologies, and how to develop teaching materials and assessment criteria that stem from and support those learning outcomes
• How to design pedagogical activities that help students themselves investigate and critique the myth of linguistic homogeneity, ranging from single lessons to major assignments
• How to read between the lines of official plagiarism policy documents, talk to students about plagiarism, and support multilingual students through the adjudication process


1. Complicating Multilingual Writer Identities Within and Beyond Institutional Contexts

Based on an analysis of multilingual student narratives collected as part of a broader study in a university context, facilitators will complicate notions of the multilingual student writer identity. These student narratives shed light on various assumptions that are peer-based, instructor-based and institutionally based. Facilitators will invite discussion that addresses these unproductive (and sometimes unexpected) assumptions about multilingual students. Together we will explore how instructors and administrators across different institutions can find opportunities to better understand their local and international multilingual students’ experiences.

2. Toward Socially-Just and Anti-Racist Student Learning Outcomes

Participants of this interactive roundtable session will explore strategies for promoting linguistic and racial justice through advocating for and teaching student learning outcomes that contest monolingualist ideologies. Together, we will examine ways in which speakers who are visually marked as other—including many ELLs, documented and undocumented students, international students, and domestic students of color—are particularly positioned to benefit from pedagogical practices that confront the racist politics of language. Participants will also explore and co-develop localized learning outcomes (and correlating teaching practices) that aim to work against monolingualism.

3. Engaging Students in Conversations about Multilingualism and Correctness
In our roundtable session, participants will discuss several examples of assignments (including readings, class activities, and major writing projects) that the presenters have used to actively counteract the “myth of linguistic homogeneity” (Matsuda, 2006) in foundations writing classes, thus engaging students in conversations about multilingualism. Next, the presenters will introduce an activity in which students critically engage with their own ideas about “correctness” by analyzing grading rubrics and creating their own. Finally, participants will be invited to share and discuss their own ideas for class activities that can serve to address multilingualism.

4. Broadening Campus Conversations to Include Multilingual Students
This roundtable focuses on raising awareness about the presence of our multilingual students through linking them to prominent conversations on campus. Participants will (1) see an example of such a conversation that emerged from racial incidents at one campus, a conversation that both affected and marginalized international multilingual students, (2) discuss a project that brought these students’ voices and experiences to the campus response, and (3) identify conversations and potential projects at other institutions.

5. Academic Integrity as Institutional Imperative: Navigating the Plagiarism Reporting Process With/For Multilingual Students
This roundtable creates space for SLW specialists, administrators, and others to learn how to better advocate for multilingual students by analyzing official academic honesty/plagiarism policies from a variety of institutions, and by developing talking points for use with deans, honesty committees, and others. We will discuss policy evaluation criteria like generality, specificity, and flexibility. We will share strategies for clarifying expectations and articulating the complexities that multilingual students encounter as they learn to write from sources and avoid plagiarism.

(AW.06) Performing Corpus Analysis: Putting Corpus Findings Into Pedagogical Practice

Level: All

Cluster: Language

Abstract: Offers practice and principles for bringing corpus-based studies of academic discourse into writing instruction, including use of corpus insights for better understanding “academic” language.

Full description:

A great deal of writing research in recent years has used tools from corpus linguistics to identify patterns of language choices that are meaningful in discursive contexts, ranging from Biber et al.’s research on academic registers, to Hyland’s research on stance and positioning in disciplinary discourses, to Aull’s examination of language patterns in first-year students’ writing, to Lancaster’s corpus analysis of templates from Graff and Birkenstein’s textbook They Say, I Say. Despite this outpouring of research, however, writing practitioners need further assistance in (a) translating corpus findings into meaningful principles and tasks for writing students and (b) conducting their own corpus investigations, including principles for creating databases, or corpora, of writing and tools for carrying out analysis. This half-day workshop will offer participants a range of practiced perspectives for using the insights into language that corpus studies grant us, including how they can change our understanding of language, and for applying those insights to the writing classroom.

Speaker 1, in “Moving from corpus findings to teaching of ‘hedging’ and rhetorical positioning,” will discuss ways to bring into the classroom corpus-based insights into the language of academic writing without further perpetuating prescriptive, decontextualized (“good/bad”) views of writing—which is a real danger. The case study pursued here is that of “hedging,” defined as expressions of stance that reduce writers’ commitment to claims. We know from corpus studies that hedging is important for positioning arguments, and we have evidence that experts use more hedges than certainty expressions (Hyland), that upper-level students use more than first-year students (Aull & Lancaster), and that high-graded papers use more than lower-graded ones (Lancaster). Such findings, when presented without sensitivity to genre and situation, could fuel a prescriptive view that “hedging is good.” Working against this, the speaker will explore tasks on stance that help foster reflection and targeted inquiries, and will model activities that help students explore rhetorical functions of hedges in specific rhetorical contexts.

Speaker 2, in “Exploring tools for analyzing small corpora,” will demonstrate how free, online text analysis tools can be used to investigate the linguistic features of small researcher- or student-created corpora, and will invite participants to apply these tools to a small corpus that will be provided. (Participants must bring laptops.) Speaker 2 will describe two examples of pedagogical applications of small corpus analysis. The first is a current research project that compares end-of-semester portfolio reflections written by students at different stages in the FYC sequence at one institution. The second shows how students gained genre awareness by conducting corpus analysis of texts from different disciplinary genres. Finally, workshop participants will brainstorm ideas for using corpus analysis to address a range of research questions and classroom applications.

Speaker 3, in “Using corpus tools to identify expectations for student writing,” will show how corpus analysis of published work and student work can provide tools to illustrate expectations and diagnose where students fall short in meeting those expectations. Using data from Lancaster’s article on concession and counterarguments, we will compare those findings to students’ Researched Argument papers. After I briefly introduce AntConc, participants will work with a subset of argument papers to identify places where students perform or misperform the needed rhetorical moves for acknowledging and responding to other voices. The participants and presenters will analyze why those features exist and brainstorm ways the corpus tools can help students recognize those patterns and improve their arguments.

Speaker 4 will explore “Demystifying academic language: Myths vs. reality.” One of the functions of public education is to provide all students with access to academic language—the language of schooling. This construct, however, is often presented in abstract, general ways that become a barrier to students’ academic reading and writing. Using corpus findings (as presented by Biber, Gray, and the Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English), Speaker 4 will demystify academic writing through a description of its unique patterns (compression, elaboration, explicitness). Considering the fact that academic writing is the polar opposite of conversation/speech, the speaker will also suggest ways of bridging this gap between the two through the use of “popular” research/academic texts which include features of both registers.

Speaker 5, in “Functionally driven language patterns in narrative and newswriting,” will also draw heavily on the Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written Language (Biber et al.), the first comprehensive corpus grammar of English, in describing differences in language patterns between narrative and news writing. Both are called “stories” in everyday speech, but the differences are substantial, including lexical density (information density), noun to verb ratios, tense and aspect, and types of subjects. Corpus studies give us substantial quantitative information about differences in texts, but they can’t by themselves provide qualitative explanations. Are these just surface differences, or are they motivated by the different work these genres enact? We will examine texts that seem prototypical, ask whether the patterns show up in those texts, and consider ways in which they are functionally motivated. Through group work and conversation, we will consider implications for teaching.

Speaker 6 will explore “Raising language awareness through hands-on exploration of COCA.” Teachers’ demonstrations or lectures on differences between informal conversational and scholarly written language can be a passive experience for students that may not translate into their making more effective choices in their own writing. Speaker 6 will take workshop participants through some simple hands-on exercises using COCA where students can explore sub-corpora in different registers such as soapies, fiction, and academic to find out for themselves whether prescriptive rules such as those against using contractions, personal pronouns, colloquial words like “kids,” and dialectal variants like “off of” are supported by the facts of real-world usage. Students can also upload a small sample of their own writing to measure the “academic strength” of their vocabulary choices against an academic sub-corpus. The aim of these exercises is to capitalize on our students’ familiarity with computer-based technologies, and spark their curiosity about the role of vocabulary and grammar in language.

(AW.07) The Choreography of Collaborative Coding

Level: All

Cluster: Research

Abstract: This workshop first offers an overview of the theory and practice of collaborative coding. Participants will then gain hands-on experience using the software program MAXQDA.

Full description:

As collaborative researchers on the Upward Project and co-authors of several publications on undergraduate research processes and perceptions, the leaders of this workshop will offer hands-on practice in collaborative coding through the lens of performance. In The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers, Johnny Saldaña explains why qualitative researchers sometimes choose to code collaboratively: “Multiple minds bring multiple ways of analyzing and interpreting the data . . . Provocative questions are posed for consideration that could possibly generate new and richer codes” (27). Yet one of the major challenges of coding collaboratively is coordinating the efforts of multiple researchers, what might be thought of as a “choreography” of collaborative coding. It is work that involves the (hopefully graceful) coordination of many moving parts. Specifically, one or more choreographers must conceptualize and develop plans and protocols for how the performance will be carried out and why: What questions does the group bring to the project? What do they wish to explore? Why a group rather than a solo performer? What approaches to coding and kinds of codes best meet these aims and purposes?
As a research method, collaborative coding also allows for interpretive dissensus and a method for achieving a quantitative result. The speakers will first share their own experiences of reader dissensus through the lens of Louise Rosenblatt’s “poem as event,” (10) which posits the reader as the performer of a text and the performance itself as an event in time. This theory of reading typically applied to literature focuses our attention on stance; in this way participants will examine the stances they take when cued by a writer of any text and share their performances with their collaborators. In reflecting on their stance toward writerly cues, readers as researchers can better define the scope of agreement for a collaborative decision.
Conceiving reading as an event in time and the coding project as a choreographed performance, the result of collaborative coding is ideally like a troupe’s dance, combining individual interpretation and expression within a meaningful whole. As Elaine Richardson observes, though, performance is nonstandardized and irreplicable. If these attributes adhere to the idea of collaborative coding as a kind of performance, where does that leave collaborative coding in the tradition of RAD research? The workshop will end by addressing the implications of collaborative coding as performance.

Before the workshop, participants will be asked to download a free trial of MAXQDA software and watch the video tutorials. The workshop will begin with an intro to collaborative coding as performance and an exploration of the kinds of research questions it can answer. The next section will apply the lens of performance and provide an overview of a project’s stages and procedures. It will move to practice with sample texts and increase in complexity until participants are coding both individually and collaboratively using MAXQDA. Because coding is cognitively demanding, coding sessions will be short and a break will be scheduled between the coding blocks. Participants will leave the workshop with an understanding of collaborative coding’s goals and processes, its theoretical and technical applications, and the organizational demands it puts on a research team.


1:30-2:00: All: Introduction to Collaborative coding as method: What kind of research questions can it answer?
2:00-2:30: Speaker 1: The choreography of collaborative coding: stages and procedures
2:30-3:00: Speaker 2: Reading as event: Participants code sample text; Intro to MAXQDA
3:00-3:15: Break
3:15-4:00: Speaker 3: Participants individually code using MAXQDA
4:00-4:30: Speaker 4: File sharing and collaboration in MAXQDA
4:30-5:00: Implications and Wrap-Up

Rosenblatt, Louise M. The Reader, the Text, the Poem: The Transactional Theory of the Literary Work. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1994.

Saldaña, Johnny. The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers. London, UK: Sage, 2009.

(AW.08) Pedagogical Strategies for Increasing Student Self-Efficacy: Turning “No Can” into “Can Do”

Level: All

Cluster: Writing Pedagogies and Processes

Abstract: Participants will learn how to implement pedagogical strategies to increase student self-efficacy in the writing classroom.

Full description:

Many of our students come into the writing classroom with an attitude of they “can’t do writing.” While many instructors understand where the belief came from (poor prior performance, commentary from the past, an inadequate understanding of the tools and techniques required for success in writing, among others), the study of self-efficacy in the college classroom until recently has been slow. In fact, it wasn’t until 2010 that the first big data research was conducted in the FYC college classroom that determined that raising self-efficacy was possible and how that was accomplished. Even if an instructor knows what self-efficacy is and the role it plays in writing success, he or she may not have the tools with which to increase student self-efficacy. This workshop aims to fill that void.

This workshop brings together seasoned practitioners in the field of student self-efficacy to assist participants in developing pedagogy that enhances their own classroom practices and pedagogy and enables students to experience a rise in their own efficacy. The proposed layout of the workshop will begin with a description of self-efficacy from each presenter who will characterize agency/self-efficacy as they understand and activate it in their classes so that a range of ways to understand what self-efficacy is provided. Students need to be made overtly conscious of their own agency and self-efficacy demonstrating multiple viewpoints and techniques is paramount to success. Furthermore, each participant will offer context for the kinds of classes that they teach and the activities that are performed in the classes. Each discussion will be followed with breakout sessions to enable participants to share their own classroom pedagogies. Each breakout group will include one facilitator who will provide feedback. After each “round,” the groups will reconvene to report out and share what was discovered. The following is representative of the proposed schedule:

1:30 to 2:00 This introduction to self-efficacy will be hosted by each of the facilitators. Focus will be on self-efficacy: what it is; why it’s important; how it’s best used in the writing classroom. Theory will be emphasized with a working bibliography provided to all participants via Google Docs. This introduction will serve as a grounding for student self-efficacy and what it looks like in each facilitator’s classroom. (All Speakers, 30 minutes total)

2:00 to 3:00 In this section of the workshop, the facilitators will discuss practice and pedagogy. A Collaborative Activity Breakout Section or Learning by Doing where each facilitator will work with breakout groups to design small assignments and activities that are portable and sustainable. The facilitators will begin with a focus on what types of “small teaching” will best help students to increase their self-efficacy. Thereafter, the participants will be placed into small groups to share ideas and meet as collaborators and then reconvene with the larger group to report out. Facilitators will assist with this breakout session by rotating through the groups to ensure that attention is given to the topic. The purpose of this activity will be to provide “small teaching” moments that can be employed in daily classroom activities. (60 minutes)

3:00 to 3:15 Break (15 minutes)

3:15 to 4:15. In this section of the workshop, the facilitators will discuss the development of writing assignments with student self-efficacy in mind: What assignments work best; how to present assignments, etc.. This section of the workshop will feature a collaborative Activity Breakout Section or Learning by Doing where each facilitator will work with breakout groups to assist in the design of writing assignments and classroom activities that not only support the writing assignment but also are designed with student self-efficacy in mind. The facilitators will begin with a focus on what types of information raises student self-efficacy through the use of Self-Regulated Strategy Development (among other modalities). Thereafter, the participants will be placed into small groups to share ideas and meet as both collaborators and brainstormers and then will reconvene with the larger group to report out. Facilitators will assist with this breakout session by rotating through the groups to ensure that attention is given to the topic. The purpose of this activity will be to have the participants leave the workshop with a series of writing assignments that will assist students in building their self-efficacy. These assignments can then be employed by the participants in future courses. The participants’ take-away will be a collection of assignments that will help to build student self-efficacy. (60 minutes)

4:15 to 5:00 Wrap-up, “town hall” discussion, question and answers. (All Speakers, 45 minutes)

Participant requirements:
We recommend attendees bring laptops/tablets and a working syllabus. Participants will receive access to all documents and activities via Google Drive.

(AW.10) Quilting Composition: Performing Composition Pedagogy through Critical Quilt Making

Level: All

Cluster: Writing Pedagogies and Processes

Abstract: Participants in this hands-on workshop will quilt to explore its pedagogical usefulness for performing composing processes, encouraging cooperative argumentation, and doing social justice work.

Full description:

As rhetoric and composition continue to recognize critical making as useful to performing composition (Haas; Ratto and Boler; Shipka and Sheridan), how might we, as scholars and teachers in the field, practice pedagogy that critically engages these ideas? This workshop answers that call by challenging participants to reimagine composition through the practice of quilting. In this hands-on workshop, the Quilters will first introduce their experiences as part of an upper division undergraduate writing course that tasked students with performing composition, cooperative argumentation, and social justice through quilting. They will then lead participants in break-out groups where each person will make their own quilt block. These individual blocks will spark discussion about the composition process, collaboration, and group work in the rhetoric and composition classroom, and quilting composition as social justice.

Quilter One, an Assistant Professor of Composition Studies at California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB), will open the workshop with an overview of her upper division composition course, “Cooperative Quilting.” In this class, Quilter One uses quilting to introduce students to cooperative argumentation, deliberative inquiry, and research and writing in the humanities and social sciences. Building on the work of Sonia Arellano, The Migrant Quilt Project, and Sewing for Social Justice, Quilter One argues that quilting is uniquely positioned as both an individual and collaborative method for performing composing processes and is conducive to individual and group dialogues about social justice and advocacy. Quilter One will discuss her experiences as the instructor of the course, including reactions from students and fellow faculty, and critical and pedagogical considerations. Finally, Quilter One will challenge assumptions about which bodies and whose bodies perform quilting by linking her approach to quilting as composition to rasquachismo (Ybarra-Frausto) through her identity as a Chicanx woman who had no experience as a quilter before this project.

Quilter Two, Quilter One’s student, discusses her role in the quilting project and creating her own quilt piece, or “block.” She reflects on how making the quilt is both stimulating and insightful as it asks individuals who have similar and different opinions to come together to create new ideas. Through her observations, she notes that quilting challenges thought processes as participants work to figure out how to best represent ideas important to them. Quilter Two will summarize her experiences and observations before leading a quilting group. Quilter Two expects that participants in this workshop will most likely change their ideas multiple times before choosing a representation, and as they quilt they will see that the outcome may not become an exact replica of what they imagined. She will use this to help spark a conversation about the composition process and encourage workshop participants to think critically about quilting as composition.

Quilter Three, also a student of Quilter One, will speak about her experience quilting in class. She will focus on her initial impressions of the project, including doubts and fears from the student perspective of being tasked with such an undertaking. Her discussion will cover her success despite not having any prior sewing experience to help make the quilt, and the challenges she faced along the way while sewing. Apart from the individual sewing tasks, she will also cover group and class dynamic and how disagreements about the quilt were settled. She will use these observations to discuss how the quilt helped develop her dialogic and ethical communication and cooperation through group quilting. Once the introduction concludes, she will help participants in her group sew, cut, measure, and fuse textiles, teach them the different dimensions of the quilt (front, back, batting), and help with questions participants may have about the project.

Quilter Four will approach the project as a researcher and respondent. She will provide a deeper understanding of how textiles function as technical documents (Haas; West-Pucket), and the history of textiles as testimonio in indigenous communities across Latin America. This connection helps ground Quilter One’s project as a decolonial Latinx feminist approach to teaching composition, especially in the context of CSUMB, a Hispanic Serving Institution. Using her experience as a farmworker to connect embodied practice to performative research, Quilter Four will show how innovative pedagogies which respond to the lived experiences of the student population encourage students to value the historically undermined epistemologies they bring into the classroom. Quilter Four will argue that quilting composition, reimagined as decolonial Latinx feminism, goes beyond traditional multimodality to connect bodies and lives through performance and production.

Workshop Schedule (half-day Wednesday afternoon session):

1:30-2:30: Introduction to Critical Quilting
In the first hour, Quilter One will give a theoretical and pedagogical introduction to critical quilt making as composition. Her discussion will include an overview of her experience designing and instructing an upper division composition course that engages quilting as pedagogy. Handouts which include a sample syllabus, quilting resources, and bibliography will be provided. Quilters Two and Three will speak about their experiences as students of the course, and the impact it had on their scholarly development. Quilter Four will discuss the project from a researcher’s perspective, focusing on how performative projects require performative research practices.

2:30-4:00: Critical Quilting Groups
After introducing the project, each Quilter will host a break-out group of participants in creating individual quilt blocks that represent their scholarly identities. All materials will be provided by the Quilters, who will lead participants in a variety of quilting practices to help them produce their quilt block, including an introduction to measuring, cutting, stitching, fusing (the no-sew method!), and other quilting considerations. No quilting experience necessary! Quilters will share their expertise and assist participants in creating their quilt blocks.

4:00-5:00: Discussion and Reflection
The last hour will ask that participants reflect on the process of creating their own quilt block and how they connect their critical making to composition theory and practice. It will also include a discussion of the challenges, risks, rewards, and other considerations of engaging quilting as composition pedagogy.

(AW.12) Teach it Like We Mean It: Helping Students Perform Their Power in Peer Review

Level: All

Cluster: Writing Pedagogies and Processes

Abstract: This highly interactive workshop will disrupt standard peer review practice with a goal to support participants’ design or revision of one peer review assignment.

Full description:

Since the social turn in composition studies, asking students to engage in collaborative peer review and response has become standard practice in the writing classroom. We require it. We praise it. We believe in it. And we should. Many composition scholars (Bruffee, Gere, and Nelson, to name a few) have illustrated that peer review can be a meaningful collaborative learning activity for students. In fact, Reid claims that peer review “is not just an assignment in a writing class; it’s the assignment that best encapsulates what we want writers to do after they leave our class” (219). Despite our assumed belief in the value of peer review, the practice is often ineffective and unimaginative. Our experience as writing instructors and WPAs has shown us that while many instructors claim to value peer review, few utilize the process to its full potential.

The problem, as we see it, is that students often act as inauthentic performers–they write, critique, and revise in a way they think will impress their instructor. Further, students often have a complicated relationship to their own authority in their writing and review habits (Walvoord and McCarthy; Schneider and Andre). We understand why—peer review is a complex series of tasks, of giving and receiving, of critiquing and responding, that have become problematically simplified and teacher-centric, and in negotiating those expectations students often default to pleasing the instructor—but this isn’t a fait accompli. Together, we can rethink how peer review is presented, and make it the heart of the composition classroom rather than an add-on.

This highly interactive workshop will help instructors disrupt standard peer review practice. We will start the day with a group discussion of the ways that students perform peer review, considering the following questions together:

-How do students perform peer review?
-How do teachers perform peer review?
-On what assumptions/beliefs do students and teachers base this performance?
-How does this performance help or hinder student feedback and revision?
-How do we know if our peer review performances are working?

This discussion will set the foundation for the question that will guide the rest of the workshop: How do we help students move beyond their current performances to develop agency and authenticity as peer reviewers?

Using participant peer review assignments to ground our work, we will rethink how to teach peer review as a genre that is rhetorically situated. We will discuss different models for peer review, such as teaching peer review as a genre of writing with a particular purpose, audience, and rhetorical work, using full-class workshops to make the work of feedback public and open, and how to assess student learning through peer review. The goal is of our conversation is to support participants’ design or revision of one peer review assignment.

Finally, we will put our discussion of peer review methodologies into context with current research trends, and discuss the potential for new publications that could arise from the new peer review activities our participants will have developed. We will ask participants to think through assignment goals, how they might collect evidence of whether or not they accomplished that goal, and how they might report what they find to their programs or to the wider field.

Workshop Outcomes

1. Participants will identify ways to introduce and contextualize the work of peer review for student writers and develop strategies to situate peer review within the academy.

2. Participants will be introduced to models of peer review that go beyond the in-class activity, including teaching peer review as a genre, full-class workshops, and assessing learning through peer review.

3. Participants will develop and problematize peer review strategies that prioritize effective and inclusive classroom practices.

4. Participants will have the opportunity to workshop and revise at least one existing peer review assignment with their peers, or create a new assignment that can then be implemented in their classes.

5. Participants will design assessments of their new peer review assignments that will help them know if peer review is doing the work they want it to do in the classroom.

6. Participants will leave with a brief bibliography overviewing peer review scholarship and a shared group-created list of possible areas for peer review research and collaborations.

7. Participants will receive handouts and links to videos and other multimodal peer review resources.

Workshop Schedule

1:30-1:45: Introductions

1:45-2:30: Discussion: Unpacking Student Performance in Peer Review
How do we characterize student performance in peer review? How does it affect peer review? Where does it come from?

2:30-3:00: Introducing Students to the Work of Peer Review: Contextualizing and Sharing
How do we introduce students to the work of peer review? How do we frame this work? How do we establish the importance? How do we model this work? In this section, we present participants with peer review models derived from our own classroom practice and research. Participants will also engage in annotating and roleplay to explore and critique these models.

3pm: Short Break

3:15pm-4:15pm: Transforming our Peer Review Practice: Considering New Models
What are different models of performing peer review in the classroom? How can we revise our peer review activities to align with our expectations of students? How can we create peer review assignments that are more accessible and inviting to students? In this section, participants will share peer review assignments they bring to the workshop with a small group and will workshop them with input from one of the panelists.

4:15-5:00: Discussion: Implementing, Assessing, and Studying Peer Review Practices
How can we sustain an intentional peer review pedagogy? How can we assess our peer review practices? What peer review resources are available to instructors? How can our peer review work contribute to research?

(AW.13) Shut up and Listen!: Speaking truth to power (2-hr Ignite Talk Workshop)

Level: All

Cluster: Writing Programs

Abstract: This workshop intends to generate both theory and pedagogy to undo systemic educational injustice and devise strategic plans for implementation at varying institutions.

Full description:

As writing center scholars begin to look at ways to make writing centers a more inclusive space for historically marginalized people, and also include more historically marginalized people in writing center scholarship, they must recognize that the goal of inclusion is not sufficient. Directors, tutors, and staff, then, must also work to actively dismantle the normalized systemic oppression (white supremacy), which still continues to silence, ignore, and delegitimize certain groups of people as well as their experiences. They must learn to listen to the experiences of these underserved people and see those experiences not only as valid, but also true and not in need of (whitesplaining). As such, this ignite talk is invites people who are willing to share their stories as historically marginalized people in the writing center in an effort to: 1) bring insight to the ways the writing center pedagogies and theories have both included historically marginalized people and—perhaps unwittingly—excluded them; 2) highlight the ways allyship fails; 3) emphasize the need for accomplices and 4) create plans of action buttressed by accomplices, mentors and like minded supporters. This ignite talk is in five parts:
Part I: Voices from the margins (20 minutes)
In Part I, scholars from historically marginalized populations, i.e. race, ethnicity, sexuality, etc. share their experiences working a writing center. These experiences include but are not limited to stories of racism, sexism, homophobia, bureaucratic red tape, hiring practices, etc.
After Part I, there is a ten-minute break where those identifying as from the dominant culture or as writing center directors, etc. reflect and write down their thoughts and questions in response to Part I (10 minutes).
Part II: Power has a say (20 minutes)
In Part II, writing center directors and scholars identifying as from the dominant culture share their experiences with historically marginalized students in the writing center, as well as discuss the ways in which the have consciously attempted to make a more (or less) inclusive writing center. These experiences could include but are not limited to hiring practices, tutor pedagogies, tutor preparatory class, etc.
After Part II, there is a ten-minute break where historically marginalized participants reflect and write down their thoughts and questions in response to Part II (10 minutes).
Part III: Responding to shared stories (30 minutes)
In Part III, participants will break into groups and share their questions and responses to the stories each person shared. These questions and responses function not only as a way to value stories and the experiences of those who work in the writing center, but also as an exchange of ideas where we begin to form ways to implement tangible change in the writing center.
Part IV: Tangible Change (30 minutes)
In Part IV, groups will share what they learned listening these stories and discuss the types of tangible changes they decided to attempt to implement within their own writing centers, writing center scholarship, or writing center pedagogy. This activity also works as an exchange of ideas as more groups share their plans for tangible change.
Part V: Forging Bonds (10 minutes)
This work is hard, but the road can be less bumpy with accomplices providing encouragement, support and a voice when yours isn’t loud enough. In Part V, individuals will be prompted to one more force of action. Participants will be asked to truly commit to actively demonstrating their accompliceship by connecting with, and exchanging contact info with those they relate to. The hope here is to foster supportive relationships that help keep the work going, and get it done.

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