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CCCC Research Initiative

Call for Proposals: 2014-2015 Research Initiative

CCCC is pleased to announce the eleventh year of its Research Initiative. This year we invite proposals for research that will advance the organization as articulated in the CCCC strategic governance initiatives and in the CCCC mission statement.

Particular topics and areas of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Formal and informal learning of writing
  • Outcomes and assessments
  • Multilingual writers
  • Writing in organizations, communities, and/or cultures
  • Working conditions and their influence on teaching and learning
  • Disciplinarity
  • Historiography
  • Development of teachers or researchers
  • Transfer of writing ability across contexts
  • Technologies for writing and learning to write
  • Literacies and the public good
  • Coming to terms with first-year composition
  • Engaging the basic writer

We invite proposals for research that employ diverse perspectives and methodologies including historical, rhetorical, qualitative, quantitative, ethnographic, and textual. Proposals should:

  • Define the project and articulate specific research questions
  • Explain the significance of the topic and what gaps in knowledge it seeks to fill, and situate the project in relevant scholarly conversations about both methodology and the subject to be studied
  • Using accepted methodologies, explain how the researchers will gather and analyze evidence and how the evidence will help address the research questions.
  • Underscore how the project takes up innovative aims or employs novel concepts, approaches, or methods
  • Describe the personnel and financial resources needed to complete the project, arguing for why they are appropriate.
  • Provide a description of the credentials the investigators bring to the project (a one-page narrative with relevant details about positions, publications and prior research, etc., is sufficient)
  • Describe how the project will be delivered to the CCCC audience (through text or online publication, e.g.)

CCCC plans to fund proposals of up to $10,000 each. The principal investigators of each proposal must be members of CCCC at the time of proposal submission. Proposals are expected to last up to two years but can run for shorter periods of time. Proposals are to be submitted no later than September 1, 2014, as email attachments to the CCCC Administrative Liaison at (UPDATE: Due to the Labor Day holiday, we have extended the deadline to 4:30 p.m. CDT on September 2.) Proposals are reviewed by a joint committee comprised of the CCCC Officers and members selected from the CCCC Research Committee. Decisions will be announced by January 30, 2015. A mid-project report will be due by March 1, 2016. (This will be the final report date for projects lasting up to one year.) Projects should be completed and a final report submitted by March 1, 2017, for projects lasting two years. A summary version of the final report will be hosted on the NCTE website.

Proposals should consist of the following (11 pages total—including a cover page, narrative, timeline, and budget—plus an additional one page each for investigators’ credentials):

  • A cover page that contains the title of the proposal, the names and full contact information of the investigator(s) (institution, address, phone, email), and, in the event of multiple investigators, the designation of a principal contact.
  • A narrative of not more than eight pages defining the project and arguing for the significance of the project, quality of the methodological approach, credibility of personnel, and innovation. Narratives should be single spaced, utilize a standard font no smaller than 12 pts., and utilize 1 inch margins. In making arguments, the proposal should be clear regarding the question to be addressed, the importance of the question for CCCC, previous related work in the research literature, the evidence to be gathered and the methods of its collection, the analytical methods to be applied, how the evidence and analysis are compatible and appropriate to produce answers to the research question, the qualifications of the researchers to conduct this research, and plans for disseminating the findings. A work plan with a timeline of key events and processes, people associated with that work, and milestones associated with events and processes should be included.
  • A detailed budget with specific rationale for all expenses. Please note that this grant may not be used to pay indirect costs and/or overhead and must be used to fund direct costs associated with research, including travel as necessary and required. Equipment costs are allowable if justified.


2004-2007 Research Initiatives

The CCCC Research Initiative “Composition, Rhetoric, and Literacy—What We Know, What We Need to Know” was approved in early 2004 and was awarded three consecutive years (2004-2005, 2005-2006, and 2006-2007). This effort was largely been focused on supporting new meta-analytical research by providing funding and an opportunity for researchers from all participating institutions to gather to share ideas and receive advice. The program aimed to create an opportunity for researchers to bring together what the profession has already learned, through a variety of methodologies, regarding the teaching and study of composition, rhetoric, and literacy. While each award year had a slightly different focus, in general the proposed research should address, in one of these areas, questions such as: What do we know? What do we still need to know? What research approaches seem fruitful?

The Research Initiative was indefinitely put on hold by the CCCC Executive Committee in March of 2007. In April 2008, the CCCC Executive Committee approved committing 5% of the contingency reserve in FY09 to establish a core descriptive database that can serve as a resource for all future CCCC-funded research projects. The goal is to create a sustained research initiative to advance scholarship in composition and rhetoric and enhance the reputation of CCCC.

CCCC-Sponsored Research: Writing in High School, Writing in College

In the spring of 2006, the CCCC Executive Committee invited proposals for a single grant of $25,000 from the CCCC Research Initiative to study the amount and kinds of writing American students do in high school and college. The purpose of this focused initiative is to create an empirically-based description of student writing in school and college settings. The expectation for the project was that it would begin in late spring 2006, that the bulk of data would be gathered during fall 2006, with a progress report made by November 1, and with a final report due in March 2007. The ideal proposal would be national in scope, gathering information from enough students, in enough diverse settings, that broad claims could reasonably be made about the nature nationally of student writing. In May of 2006, CCCC awarded Dr. Joanne Addison, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center, and Dr. Sharon James McGee, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, the $25,000 grant.  The selection committee was especially impressed by the thoughtful work Drs. Addison and McGee had already done on the survey instrument. Committee members also liked the portfolio approach to assessing student work. In the spring of 2008, the project deadline was extended to June 2009.

September 2010 CCC Article: "Writing in High School/Writing in College: Research Trends and Future Directions"

Research Initiative Recipients


Attitudes, Preferences, and Practices of College Writing Instructors Toward Digital Pedagogy
Rebecca E. Burnett, Rebecca E., Lisa Dusenberry, Andy Frazee, Liz Hutter, and Joy Robinson, Georgia Institute of Technology

Learning Transfer from Metacognition-Enhancing Writing-about-Writing FYC Courses: A Longitudinal Study
Doug Downs and Mark Schlenz, Montana State University

Investigating the Habits of Mind of First-Year Composition Students
Peter H. Khost, Stony Brook University

Writing in the workplace: An investigation of job requirements and expectations for professional writers
Clair Lauer, Eva Brumberger, and Mark Hannah, Arizona State University

Working Class Literacy: Archives, Academic Discourse, and the Achievement of Meta-Cognitive Academic Literacy Skills
Steve Parks, Jessica Pauszek, and Tony Scott, Syracuse University; William Thelin, University of Akron; Deborah Mutnick, Long Island University; and Jennifer Harding, London Metropolitan University

Surveying the Status of the Multi-major Professional Writing Course in U.S. Institutions of Higher Education
Sarah Read, DePaul University, and Michael Michaud, Rhode Island College

Faculty Identity Construction Through Language
Molly Scanlon, Claire Lutkewitte, Juliette Kitchens, and Allison Brimmer, Nova Southeastern University

Digital Media Academy: Designing Responsive Structures of Graduate Student Professionalization
Mary P. Sheridan, Rachel Gramer, and Megan Faver Hartline, University of Louisville

A Critical Approach to Academic Literacies in Latin America: A Multiple-Case Study
Lina Marcela Trigos Carrillo, University of Missouri

Research Writing in Education: A Genre-based Study of Four Disciplines
Anneke van Enk, Anthony Paré, Catherine Broom, Deirdre Kelly, Claudia Ruitenberg, and Jennifer Vadeboncoeur, University of British Columbia

Blended Stretch Writing at Arizona State University
James E. Wermers, Susan Naomi Bernstein, Shillana Sanchez, Karen Dwyer, and Connie J. Bracewell, Arizona State University

Investigating the Impact of First-Year Composition: A Comparative Study on One Campus
Laura Wilder and Robert Yagelski, University at Albany

The Transfer of Transfer Project: Extending the Teaching for Transfer Writing Curriculum into Four Sites and Multiple Courses
Kathleen Blake Yancey and Erin Workman, Florida State University; Matthew Davis, University of Massachusetts Boston; Liane Robertson, William Paterson University of New Jersey; and Kara Taczak, University of Denver


The Effects of Explicit Instruction on Sentence Fluency and Style

Nora Bacon, University of Nebraska at Omaha, Keith Rhodes, Grand Valley State University, and Star Medzerian Vanguri, Nova Southeastern University

Instructor Comments on Student Papers: Student Perspectives

Darsie Bowden, DePaul University

The Language Repertoires of First-Year Writers: A Cross-Institutional Study of Multilingual Writers

Shanti Bruce, Nova Southeastern University, Rebecca Lorimer Leonard, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Deirdre Vinyard, Emily Carr University of Art and Design

The Genre Project: A Framework for Transfer Across the Disciplines

Jane Danielewicz and Jordynn Jack, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Mestiza Rhetors: An Anthology of Latina Rhetorical Activism in North America, 1880-1920

Jessica Enoch, University of Maryland, and Cristina Ramírez, University of Arizona

Tracing Chinese International Students’ Multilingual and Multimodal Literacy Practices in and across Translocal Contexts

Steve Fraiberg, Michigan State University, Xiaoye You, Pennsylvania State University, and Xiqiao Wang, Michigan State University

The University of Arizona Longitudinal Study of Student Writers

Amy Kimme Hea, Aimee Mapes, Kenny Walker, and Ana Milena Ribero, University of Arizona

(Re)Writing Lila: Literacy Narratives of Reform from the New York State Training School for Girls, 1920-1970

Tobi Jacobi, Colorado State University, Laura Rogers, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and Edward Lessor, Colorado State University

Composing Disabled Faculty

Margaret Price, Spelman College, and Stephanie Kerschbaum, University of Delaware


Writing initiatives and networks in Latin America and their relation to North America

Charles Bazerman, Natalia Ávila-Reyes, and Elizabeth Narváez-Cardona, University of California, Santa Barbara

Learning Information Literacy Across the Curriculum: A National Study

Adrienne Blackwell-Starnes and Janice R. Walker, Georgia Southern University

Digital Literacy and Blindness: Towards a Theory of Listening as Literacy

Melissa Helquist, Salt Lake Community College

The Writing Transfer Project: A RAD Approach to Enhancing College Writers' Long-Term Learning

Ed Jones, Seton Hall University, Dana Driscoll, Oakland University, Gwen Gorchowski, Wayne State University, Carol L. Hayes, George Washington University, and Jennifer Marie Holcomb Wells, Florida State University

From Perception to Performance: A Study of Transfer in Student Writing

Tara Lockhart and Mary Soliday, San Francisco State University

Developing Critical Literacies of Black Womanhood in an Afterschool Program in a University and Community-based Service Learning Context

Elaine Richardson, The Ohio state University


The Borderlands Literacy Project

Carol Brochin Ceballos and Carlos Salinas, The University of Texas at El Paso

Reading in the First-Year Writing Classroom: A National Survey of Classroom Practices and Students’ Experiences

Ellen Carillo, University of Connecticut

Barriers to Writing Transfer: Writing in the Major at the "2+2" University

Bradley Dilger and Neil Baird, Western Illinois University

Comparing Faculty Time and Labor in Online versus On-campus First-Year Composition Courses: A Study of the SUNY Community Colleges

Cynthia Eaton, Suffolk County Community College


A Decade of War: Institutional and Civic Responsibilities to "Warrior Writers" in the Writing Classroom

D. Alexis Hart and Roger Thompson, Virginia Military Institute

“An Ethical Obligation”: Promising Practices for Student Veterans in College Writing Classrooms (white paper; published June 2013)

Placement of Multilingual Writers in First-Year Composition Courses in U.S. Colleges and Universities: A Nationwide Survey

Paul Kei Matsuda and Tanita Saenkhum, Arizona State University

Seniors Reflect on Their Meaningful Writing Experiences: A Cross-Institutional Study

Michele Eodice, University of Oklahoma, Anne Ellen Geller, St. John’s University, and Neal Lerner, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Meaningful Writing Project website


The Principles and Standards for the Postsecondary Teaching of Writing: Providing a Data-Based Framework for the 21st Century

Randall McClure and Dayna Goldstein from Georgia Southern University


"An Expanded Validity Inquiry into Minority Students' Experiences with a Large-Scale Writing Portfolio Assessment,” (Awarded: $7,544)

Diane Kelly-Riley, Washington State University, Pullman

"Survey of Writing Instructors at For-Profit Colleges and Universities,” (Awarded: $4,600)

Luana Uluave, University of Illinois at Chicago

Patricia Harkin, University of Illinois at Chicago

Kristine Hansen, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

J. Quin Monson, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah

"The forms and functions of instant messaging as literate practice,” (Awarded: $4,600)

Christina Haas, Kent State University, Ohio

Pamela Takayoshi, Kent State University, Ohio

“'The Things They Carried': A Synthesis of Research on Transfer in College Composition,”

(Awarded: $8,188)

Kathleen Blake Yancey, Florida State University, Tallahassee

Emily Dowd, Florida State University, Tallahassee

Tamara Francis, Florida State University, Tallahassee


“Community Impacts of Service-Learning in Writing Courses,” (Awarded: $5,000)

Melody Bowdon, University of Central Florida, Orlando

Maggie Boreman, University of Central Florida, Orlando

“Large-Scale Second-Language Writing Assessment,” (Awarded: $5,000)

Beth Lewis Samuelson, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant

Mary Ann Crawford, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant

Susan Dyste, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant

Heidi Vellenga, Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, Michigan

Judy Youngquist, Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, Michigan

Diane Boehm, Saginaw Valley State University, University Center, Michigan

Barry Alford, Mid Michigan Community College, Mt. Pleasant

“TYCA National Research Initiative,” (Awarded: $5,000)

Jody Millward, Santa Barbara City College, California

Leslie Roberts, Oakland Community College, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Patrick Sullivan, Manchester Community College, Connecticut

TYCA Research Initiative website


"Uncovering Theories and Practices of Multiliteracies and New Media Pedagogies,” ($5,000)

Daniel Anderson, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Anthony T. Atkins, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana

Cheryl E. Ball, Utah State University, Logan

Krista Homicz Millar, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Cynthia Selfe, Michigan Technological University, Houghton

Richard Selfe, Michigan Technological University, Houghton

"Community-Based and Service-Learning Writing Initiatives: A Survey of Scholarship and Agenda for Research,” ($5,000)

Nora Bacon, University of Nebraska-Omaha

Thomas Deans, Haverford College, Pennsylvania

James Dubinsky, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg

Barbara Roswell, Goucher College, Baltimore, Maryland

Adrian Wurr, University of North Carolina-Greensboro

"A Study of the Implications for College-Level Literacy Instruction and Assessment of the P-16 Educatioon Policy Reform Movement,” ($5,000)

J.S. Dunn, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Michael M. Williamson, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

"Visualizing Composition: Understanding Composing Processes as a Coordination of Technological and Cultural Activities,” ($5,000)

Bill Hart-Davidson, Michigan State University, East Lansing

Julie Lindquist, Michigan State University, East Lansing

Jeff Grabill, Michigan State University, East Lansing

"Students' Right to Their Own Visual Language,” ($5,000)

Erik Hayenga, Michigan Technological University, Houghton

Dennis A. Lynch, Michigan Technological University, Houghton

"Acquisition of Level 4 L2 English Writing Proficiency by Students Whose First Language is Arabic,” ($5,000)

Betty Lou Leaver, New York Institute of Technology, Amman, Jordan

Amal Mohammed Jasser, Jordan University of Science and Technology,

Irbid, Jordan

Rajai Khanji, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan

"Second-Language Writing in College Composition Programs,” ($5,000)

Paul Kei Matsuda, University of New Hampshire, Durham

"National Adjunct Writing Faculty Survey Project,” ($5,000)

Gloria McMillan, Pima Community College (East), Tucson, Arizona

"TYCA Research Initiative,” ($5,000)

Jody Millward, Santa Barbara Community College, California

Gregory Shafer, Mott Community College, Flint, Michigan

Dianne Fallon, York Community College, Kittery Point, Maine

"A Meta-analysis of the Teaching of Technical Writing to Students for Whom English is Not a First Language,” ($5,000)

Christine Winberg, Peninsula Technikon, Cape Town, South Africa

Joyce Nduna, Peninsula Technikon, Cape Town, South Africa

Thea van der Geest, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands

Barbara Lehman, The Ohio State University, Columbus

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