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Research Opportunities

The Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program (WSAP) supports research in writing studies.

We offer several ways for undergraduates to get involved in research:

  • Take a WSAP course: Several undergraduate presentations and publications began as projects for upper-level WSAP courses and were completed with the help of a WSAP faculty mentor. See our courses page.
  • Pursue your own writing studies research project: We mentor and support undergraduate researchers who are developing independent research projects.
  • Apply for a research assistant position: Available positions are posted on JobLink and on our undergraduate employment page.
  • Apply for a Writing Studies Enrichment Grant: Writing Studies Enrichment Grants (Word) are suited to enhance our community’s knowledge of writing and the teaching and tutoring of writing. They provide support to faculty by creating funds for undergraduate research assistants to help on writing studies research or community resource projects, and also provide support for undergraduates seeking research experience in writing studies.
  • Apply for a Writing Studies Conference Presentation Grant: Present your research with the help of a Writing Studies Conference Presentation Grant for Undergraduate Students (Word).

University undergraduates have gone on to publish their writing-related research in publications like Writing Center Journal.

Current Research in Writing Studies

We seek answers to questions about teaching, tutoring, and learning about writing. In our research, we analyze text(s). We ask: what is writing? How does writing work?

Because writing is a feature of academic work across disciplines, writing studies research is inherently interdisciplinary and multi-modal. Theories guiding writing research draw from areas such as cognitive science, linguistics, and composition and rhetoric. 

Our faculty’s research projects bring together a range of disciplinary knowledge and often combine qualitative and quantitative methods.


For questions about undergraduate research in writing or writing studies, contact: 

Deborah Rossen-Knill, MFA, PhD
WSAP Executive Director
(585) 273-3583

Stefanie Sydelnik, PhD
WSAP Associate Director
Associate Professor
(585) 273-3584