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General Information

Summer Seminar 2020

July 26—August 7, 2020

Offered in collaboration with the Council of Writing Program Administrators.

“The seminar filled big holes in my education—holes that I didn’t know were there.”

What kind of research do we focus on?

Research is broadly—and provisionally—defined here as systematic or replicable inquiry in response to a research question that can generate interpretable data, inquiry that is grounded in previous research and designed to extend existing knowledge and, through scholarly publication or other public contribution, to be extended itself.

Who should attend?

We welcome new and seasoned writing researchers, teachers, and writing program administrators from all types of institutions, including universities, two-year/four-year colleges, writing centers, writing research laboratories, technical schools, or centers for teaching excellence, around the globe. We encourage research teams to apply. Competitive acceptance.

The program is designed to support higher education writing researchers who would like to engage in data-driven research but have not had the opportunity to develop their expertise in understanding, choosing, and using the particular research methods we cover. Participants may be looking to develop or expand their repertoire of methods, from strictly qualitative into mixed methods or more quantitative approaches. The emphasis of the Dartmouth Seminar is on models for systematic inquiry, with particular attention to methods for gathering and analyzing sets of data using coding-based qualitative analysis and some forms of quantitative analysis. Participants will also learn to engage in critical analysis with (and of) statistics and statistical software and prepare for publication of this kind of research. The Seminar is also valuable for faculty with experience doing this work but looking for some input into a particular project they wanted to workshop, or teachers of writing and leaders of writing initiatives trained in different research traditions who are interested in exchanging ideas, in a collegial and productive setting, about research methods used in contexts around the world. We appreciate the dialogue created by international and interdisciplinary participants seeking a collaborative research network with members from various institutional and cultural contexts.

2020 Program

The specific program will be tailored to the research projects defined by applicants. The program’s key on-site features will include group/team work, individual consultations with program leaders, individual work time, and daily classwork. See 2020 Program Features tab.

Deadline to apply: December 15, 2019.

Who will the session leaders be?

Charles Bazerman, Chris Anson, Neal Lerner, Cheryl Geisler, Dylan Dryer, Joanna Wolfe, Jason Swarts, Mya Poe, Christiane Donahue, and more. Additional faculty will be announced as we determine project-specific issues.

When does the program work begin?

In the February-July 2020 period, we will form a cohort, distribute readings, share information about projects, and offer preliminary guidance from team leaders on IRB contact and data collection as needed. In April we host a series of exchanges to share projects and discuss preparation. Peer review and consultations with team members are ongoing throughout the seminar, from an initial meeting to a final presentation of projects.

What will participants gain?

Key takeaways include:

  • a deeper understanding of data-driven research; access to resources and a research network over time
  • a set of practical and methodological tools for implementation; improved ability to ask questions and interpret data
  • a sense of a project’s place and value in the writing studies landscape
  • a cohort of colleagues with whom to continue working and exchanging ideas over time

Participants will leave the summer seminar with a concrete plan for completing the project they bring to the program, as well as an ongoing support network, including the program cohort and the team members (see previous participants’ testimony, below).


Program fee (includes all materials, access to the library and Internet while at Dartmouth) $1,500 (partial scholarships funded by CWPA available to community college, HCBU, and TCU participants)
Housing* for the full seminar term (single rooms in comfortable dormitories) $830 approximate (includes a $150 credit towards meals in College facilities)

We offer a $100 discount on the 2020 fee for CWPA, EWCA, or EARLI SIG Writing conferences attendees.

* The housing/meal plan is optional, though strongly recommended: participants have noted that being onsite really enables the fullest participation. Quoted cost is an estimate; Dartmouth has not yet released 2020 fee structures.

For More Information:

Please write to Christiane Donahue with any questions.