Announcements, Publications

Assistant Professor Publishes Article on Writers and Their Writing

Cristyn Elder published, “Dear OWL Mail: Centering Writers’ Concerns in Online Tutor Preparation” in The Writing Center Journal , a journal “committed to publishing strong empirical research and theoretical scholarship relevant to writing centers [and] build[ing] a stronger research community for writing centers.”

Elder’s article discusses an empirical study  conducted in an effort to bring writers’ voices to the forefront.  Here’s the abstract:

Much of the scholarship on writing centers narrates the stories of writers
and their texts as told by tutors, administrators, and researchers. In an
effort to bring writers’ voices to the forefront, this empirical study
examines the types of questions and concerns writers have about their
writing as submitted through the Purdue Writing Lab’s OWL Mail, an
online, asynchronous question-and-answer email platform. Through the
employment of what Richard H. Haswell (2005) calls RAD research—
that which is replicable, aggregable, and data-supported—thousands
of users’ inquiries, submitted from 2006 to 2010, were analyzed and
taxonomized into six primary question categories—Documentation
Style, Grammar, Beyond the Scope of OWL Mail, Punctuation, Genre,
and Lexicon—plus Other. The implications of these results and the ways
they may inform tutor preparation in response to writers’ email inquiries
are discussed. Suggestions for future research are also provided.

Read the full article here.