In transition

Researching the writing development of doctoral students and faculty

Authors

  • Sandra Tarabochia University of Oklahoma
  • Shannon Madden North Carolina State University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/wap.34576

Keywords:

writing development, higher education, faculty writers, graduate student writers, lifespan, longitudinal research methods

Abstract

This article investigates the learning trajectories of graduate students and early career faculty - a group we refer to as emerging scholars. Taking a developmental perspective, our mixed-methods study employs surveys and interviews to understand emerging scholars' writing needs and experiences. This research is significant because although literature suggests emerging scholars struggle with new writing practices, perceptions, and identities, researchers rarely take a developmental perspective on the learning needs of emerging scholars, which ultimately limits access to the educational enterprise and perpetuates a gatekeeping culture in higher education. Further, no studies that we know of consider graduate student and faculty writers' needs in relation to one another. In this article, we present an innovative method for cross-analyzing data from these two groups in ways that reveal recurring/diverging features of lifelong writing development. Our preliminary findings reveal connections and variations in the needs and experiences of these two groups that could inform pedagogy, programming, and institutional policy geared toward graduate student and faculty writers. Finally, we discuss methodological implications for studying groups of writers with proximate developmental relationships and explain how future applications of our method will contribute to research on writing development across the lifespan.

Author Biographies

Sandra Tarabochia, University of Oklahoma

Sandra L. Tarabochia is an assistant professor of Composition, Rhetoric, and Literacy in the Department of English at the University of Oklahoma. Her book, Reframing the Relational: A Pedagogical Ethic for Cross-Curricular Literacy Work, is forthcoming in NCTE’s Studies in Writing and Rhetoric series. She is a core researcher in the Writing through the Lifespan Collaboration and her scholarship has appeared in WAC Journal (2016), WPA (2013), and Across the Disciplines (2013).

Shannon Madden, North Carolina State University

Shannon Madden is an assistant professor in the Department of Writing and Rhetoric at the University of Rhode Island, where she teaches courses in technical, professional, and business writing. She and Sandra Tarabochia are co-recipients of the 2017 Conference on College Composition and Communication Emergent Research/er Grant. Together with Michele Eodice, she recently co-edited a special double issue of Praxis: A Writing Center Journal about access and equity in graduate writing support.

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Published

2019-02-25

How to Cite

Tarabochia, S., & Madden, S. (2019). In transition: Researching the writing development of doctoral students and faculty. Writing and Pedagogy, 10(3), 423-452. https://doi.org/10.1558/wap.34576

Issue

Section

Research Matters