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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—Start a project you would like to continue working on for a presentation or publication. See our courses page.
  • Pursue your own research about writing—We mentor and support undergraduate researchers who are developing independent research projects, or expanding projects started in one of our writing courses.
  • Take WRT 282: Research Methods, Writing Studies—This course is designed specifically to support undergraduate researchers through the research process, from identifying a research question of interest to themselves and their field of study to creating a research proposal.
  • Apply for a research assistant position—When these positions are open, they are posted to our undergraduate employment page.
  • Writing Studies Conference Presentation Grant—Apply for a conference presentation grant for your writing studies research by submitting 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