You will choose an area of "basic writing" instruction that serves your purposes and interests and connects to the themes and content of the course. You can focus on any student population. You can do original research, although that is not expected. You are required to use peer-reviewed, scholarly articles to explore your topic.

You have two options:

  1. The traditional, 10-15 page academic research paper. I expect that this will pursue a key question, synthesize previous scholarship, and argue for a solution or pedagogy, whatever is appropriate. You may use your experience and the experiences of others in addition to peer-reviewed articles. You must engage the field of composition studies and/or basic writing studies.
  2. CompFAQs entry. This will be less linear, and more "chunked." It will likely be a bibliographic project addressing a central question to BW, addressed to an audience of professional writing scholars, teachers, and faculty teaching BW nationally.

Either option will be presented orally at the end of the semester. Composition studies has a tradition of spoken presentations, not read papers. You may use PowerPoint if you think it will work, or you may show your CompFAQs pages.


ENGL5361