What is Grassroots Writing Research?

The goals of the ISU Writing Program are best understood through our “Grassroots Writing Research” philosophy [See our Program Explanation & Philosophy Page. Our aims are to investigate literate activity through a range of different kinds of projects.


 Writing and Reading

Writing and Reading about Writing Research is a key activity in our program. Our primary venue for grassroots writing research (both reading it and producing it) is our Grassroots Writing Research JournalThe journal is published twice each year. It includes articles by citizen writing researchers (which included high school students, undergraduates, graduate students, professional and writing research scholars). Teachers and students in our program have opportunities to write for the journal, but publication is open to writing researchers everywhere.


Talking about Writing Research happens in our classes, of course, and in all kinds of activities that our teachers engage in as part of their professional development.

  • However, we specifically talk about Writing Research as part of our Visiting Speaker Series (well-known scholars in Writing Studies visit campus each year).
  • Our annual Writing Research Colloquium Series invites authors and researchers to speak about their work to an audience of students and instructors, as well as other members of our ISU community.
  • Our “Let’s CHAT” Podcast Series brings together students and instructors to talk about issues of writing research that are important to our community. Topics can be related to specific theories or ideas we are exploring, different teaching strategies we employ, and conversations about the ways we understand and take up different concepts and ideas related to writing and literacy.


Enacting Writing Research means engaging actively and thoughtfully in everyday lived experience where writing matters. Our teachers and students create multiple opportunities to enact practical writing research—which involves thinking through and observing how writing works in daily life.


Collecting Writing Research is an activity that happens as part of the publication of our journal, but this activity is supported by lots of our activities including our Professional Literacies Project, and our Mini-grant project. In addition, our Research and Reports pages offer some information about the data our program regularly collects