Grassroots Projects

We believe that writing research starts well before and goes way beyond the classroom. A Grassroots approach reframes composition not in terms of writing, but as something anyone can actively and thoughtfully be engaged in everyday.


Our program cultivates students' Writing Researcher identities to meet the challenge of any new writing situation. We go beyond the 5-paragraph essay to discover the structure and network that make a genre what it is.


The GWRJournal publishes citizen writing researchers, meaning anyone actively investigating a literate activity. Because literate activities are so diverse, the genres, topics, and forms of our articles are wide ranging.

News & Updates

  • Visiting Speaker Series: Dylan B. Dryer

    Dylan B. Dryer is Associate Professor of Composition Studies at the University of Maine. His work is increasingly focused on valid, reliable, and just research methods in Writing Studies. Graduate and postgraduate research-methods pedagogy and the responsible integration of qualitative and quantitative methods remain particular interests.Dylan_Dryer

    Toward a Translingual Composition Pedagogy

    Workshop – Wednesday, October 4th at 12:30 pm

    After briefly outlining some of the tenets for what is coming to be known as a “translingual” disposition toward language teaching, this workshop will engage participants in some cross-language work, delve into the question of intra-language translation, and then — consistent with the importance of attending to “documentary society” (Smith and Schryer 2008) — will take up questions of assignment design and responding to students’ writing.

    The Present Future of Rhetorical Genre Studies:  International Contexts and Emerging Research

    Talk – Thursday, October 5th at 7:00 pm

    This talk will reflect on the explanatory power of the rhetorical construct of genre first articulated by Miller (1984), considering current findings and ongoing difficulties in operationalizing this subtle concept. I’ll situate this construct internationally in the four other main schools of thought on genre, and then describe some challenges to RGS emerging from longitudinal research and recent work in the cognitive sciences.  I’ll conclude by proposing a teaching and research agenda that reframes genre as cognition and lived experiences as resources for social equity.


From the Blog

  • “What do you think about this?”: A Collaborative Approach to Transforming Ideas into Class Activities on Translingual Writing

    This post is based on a Spring 2017 Summit presentation on learning outcome #8  Have you ever felt lost not knowing how to address Learning Outcome 8: Cultural and Ethical Impacts Translingual and Transcultural Writing in your classroom? During their session at the Spring 2017 Summit, Su Yin Khor and Cristina Sánchez-Martín talked about how to exchange ideas regarding this outcome and build on them to fit your teaching style and classroom exigencies. Read more
  • Cultural Implications: the Genre of Greetings and “Global Citizenship” Skills

    In this post, Shyam Sharma presents several assignments that aim to develop students’ “global citizenship” skills. The first one revolves around the discussion on seemingly universal terms, like beauty.  Students share their antecedent genre knowledge and build on it through class interactions and research to expand on their own understanding of the term with the ... Read more
  • Crossing the One Mode/Language Divide: Fiscus’ Annotated Bibliography

    In her post “Transmodal/Translingual Projects: A Case Study”, Jackie Fiscus presents an assignment that aimed to encourage her students to move across the one mode/language divide. The three examples that Fiscus shares illustrate how students transformed a traditional school-related genre (annotated bibliography) whose main mode of communication is text into other formats that include more ... Read more
  • Uptake on Milu’s Article “What Does it Take to Compose and Read a Translingual Text?”

    In her post “What Does it Take to Compose and Read a Translingual Text?” on the blog Sweetland Digital Rhetorical Collaborative, Milu shares a class activity in which she asks her students to engage in conversations on translingual practices. By looking at the different modes through which the hip-hop remix of the song Mama Africa is ... Read more
  • The “M Word”

    The “M Word” by Frank Macarthy “Multimodality” sounds like one of those 10-dollar words. You know, those words used by pretentious people to make themselves sound even more pretentious? Well, to be honest, it isn’t one of those words. In fact, multimodality is quite simple. As Arola, Sheppard, and Ball (Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Multimodal Projects) ... Read more