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

  • Professional Literacies Project: Jared Alcorn

    Presentation and Q & A – Wednesday, February 28th 3:30 – 4:30 pm STV 133

    Jared Alcorn is the owner of Waiting Room Records, an independent record store in Bloomington-Normal, which offers a full range of products and services, including stocking new vinyl and CDs; buying and selling used vinyl, CDs and DVDs; rare record searches and special orders for imported and domestic releases. In addition, Waiting Room Records also stocks a growing selection of vintage clothes. Join us as we explore the literate activity of a record store owner!waitingroomlogo2trevor


    This event is free and accessible to persons with disabilities. For additional information, or if you need a special accommodation to participate in this event, please contact our Program Coordinator, Maegan Gaddis, at You may also read the Writing Program Office by phone at 309-438-3957 or in STV Hall 133



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