Jim Purdy – Visiting Speaker 2016-2017

Literacy, Literacies, and Student Research-Writing Behaviors

In his talk, Dr. Purdy proposes that to prepare students for their college career, and civic endeavors, universities must promote an understanding of literacies that builds on students’ rich extracurricular, digital lives and make literacies instruction the shared responsibility of the entire campus community. Rhetoric and writing teacher-scholars are in a unique position to lead this effort. After reviewing prevailing definitions of literacy and exigent research about students’ research-writing practices, he shares seven foundational ideas for a different approach to literacy. He closes by offering six pedagogical and five programmatic ideas for enacting this approach to literacies.


James P. Purdy is an associate professor of English/writing studies and director of the University Writing Center at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At Duquesne, he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching and the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2016.

His research examines digital research and writing practices for scholars at all levels. He has published in numerous scholarly journals, as well as in several edited collections. He has also co-edited four books.

This scholarship has won several awards. For more information on Dr. Purdy’s awards, please click here.

Reading Recommendations:

Purdy, James P. “What Can Design Thinking Offer Writing Studies?” College Composition and Communication 65.4 (2014): 612-641. Print

Purdy, James P., and Joyce R. Walker. “Liminal Spaces and Research Identity: The Construction of Introductory Composition Studies as Researchers.” Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Language, Literature, Composition, and Culture 13.1 (2013): 9-41. Print.

Purdy, James P. “Why First-Year College Students Select Online Research Resources as Their Favorite” First Monday 7.3 (2012). Web. http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/4088/3298