Monday, April 11, 2011

CCCC, Vol. 3: Take 2

This is the third of several posts I hope to write over the next few days hitting highlights of my first Conference on College Composition and Communication, which took place a few days back in Atlanta. I want here to say a few words about the next phase of the rhetorical analysis of REU students' writing I'm currently performing with my friends at the College of Charleston.

We're moving ahead. Last Friday we met to plan our next moves, which include a session proposal for next year's CCCC in Saint Louis and a plan for our next data-gathering session, to take place during the second week of this coming summer's REU. As we did last year, we'll spend some time interviewing the student participants about their past writing instruction and their experience with writing in mathematics. We also plan on reworking the prompt for the students' weekly journaling to include more intentional language regarding writing.

Our goal? To begin to understand how students develop as disciplinary writers in mathematics by examining (1) their progress along the axes we laid out in the first phase of our research (use of sources, contextualization in the existing body of knowledge, etc.), and (2) their own reported perceptions of their growth as writers over the course of the summer program.

As of the end of the coming summer we'll have four years of data (at least four drafts, often many more, of roughly 6-8 papers per year), and analyzing these data is going to be an arduous task. To help us out with the reading we brought aboard three more Charleston-based writing folks (all former grad students at the College of Charleston). It's going to be a regular party.

Exciting stuff! Further bulletins as events warrant.

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