Category: ENG 810

Paper 5: Epistemological Alignment

In aligning myself within the writing center field, I find that I am highly influenced by foundational texts and scholars in the field. In thinking about the overall mission of a writing center, I agree with North’s (1984) assertion in “Idea” that “Our job is to produce better writers, not better writing. Any given project-a…

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Paper 4: Theories, Methods, & a Continuing Quest for Legitimacy

As a field growing from rhetoric and composition, writing center work and scholarship centers on the theory of teaching writing as process. Similarly North’s “Idea” of writing centers as places that support writers as opposed to individual assignments, and Bruffee’s work on collaborative learning through peer tutoring undergird the work and scholarship of writing center…

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PAB Entry 4: Theories & Methods

Driscoll, D., & Perdue, S. (2012). Theory, Lore, and More: An Analysis of RAD Research in The Writing Center Journal, 1980-20091. Writing Center Journal, 32(2), 11-39. Driscoll and Perdue examined 270 articles published in issues of The Writing Center Journal from 1980-2009 to examine trends in writing center scholarship. Specifically, they were analyzing articles using…

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Paper 3: Objects of Study

What is the object of study in writing center studies? The obvious answer: writing centers. As discussed in my examination of the history of writing center studies, “writing center,” can refer to a place or a method, and often both simultaneously. This notion of place, however, helps to limit what is acceptable to study in…

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PAB Entry 3: Objects of Study

*Note: I have chosen to list these bibliographic entries chronologically as opposed to alphabetically because chronology helps establish their connections. North, S.M. (1984). Writing center research: Testing Our Assumptions. In G.A. Olson (Ed.), Writing Centers Theory and Administration. (pp. 24-35). Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. In this call to research, North advocates…

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Paper 2: Major Questions

Scholarship in writing center studies seems to revolve around the four big questions: what, where, why, and how. In this paper, I will tackle the two seemingly simple questions of what and where to show how these are complex and interconnected major questions with the field of writing center studies. The question what? encompasses questions…

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PAB Entry 2: What & Where

  Bruffee, Kenneth. (1984). Peer Tutoring and “the conversation of mankind.”  In G. A Olsen (Ed.), Writing centers: Theory and administration (pp.3-15). Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. In this essay, Bruffee looks at the history of the use of peer tutors in writing centers and the benefit that this model provides concerning…

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PAB Entry 1: Historical Perspectives

Boquet, E. H. (1999). “Our little secret”: A history of writing centers, pre- to post-open admissions. College Composition and Communication, 50 (3), 463-483. In this essay, Boquet traces the history of writing centers with the central question: are they a place or a method? Boquet suggests that the early 20th century incarnations of writing centers,…

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