Broadly, my research focuses on the use of interdisciplinary methods of inquiry to investigate how multilingual writers engage in discipline-specific genre tasks in engineering. My research results in evidence-based pedagogy for first-year composition and writing in the disciplines.
Currently, I teach first-year writing courses (B WRIT 134 and B WRIT 135). Much of my teaching focuses on building communities of practice where students feel empowered to explore the power dynamics of language while engaging in discussions of process – that is the writing process. While my classes focus on developing a variety of writing skills (idea generation, drafting, revising, providing feedback, developing arguments, identifying potential audiences, finding your “voice”, using sources, citation practices, multi-modality, etc.), I also encourage my students to bring attention to the tensions that arise when we assess writing: What does it mean to write “good”? Who determines what “good” writing is? What is “academic” writing? In these places of tension, I invite my students to bring all of their linguistic resources to our classroom and to their writings; after all, “Standard” English is no one’s first language.
Much of the writing process is about learning how to negotiate with ourselves and the fluid identities we bring to the academe and to our places of work as we strive to communicate often nuanced ideas to diverse audiences. Because of this, I place a higher emphasis on the writing process than I do on the final product. We spend much of the time in class drafting and revising, and considering our audiences and purposes as we make our writing choices. I also emphasis that writing is a social process, and I build the writing curriculum around social activities, including workshops, peer-revision, group discussions, developing writing/revision plans in groups, and quite of bit of reading related to writing and writing process, which we always unpack as a class.
My goal is to provide students with the foundational skills and knowledge needed to be successful writers beyond my class; because of this, I adapt the assignments and the pace of the course to the needs of the students. No one class is the same, everyone’s process is a bit different.
Recent Courses Taught
- BIS 300 Interdisciplinary Inquiry
- B WRIT 134 Composition
- B WRIT 135 Research Writing
I’m a part of an interdisciplinary team of researchers from University of Arizona, Purdue University, Michigan State University, and Northern Arizona University on the Crow (Corpus & Repository of Writing) Project. Our web-based interface supports research and professional development in applied linguistics and rhetoric and composition. Crow is currently supported by the ACLS Digital Extension Grant and Humanities Without Walls consortium. Our corpus is comprised of texts written by first-year writing students from all of our partnering institutions (UWB forthcoming), and the accompanying pedagogical materials (syllabi, assignment sheets, rubrics, etc.). We hope that, by providing access to these materials, we can support scholars from writing studies and applied linguistics in their teaching, professional development, and their research.
In addition to my work with Crow, I’m working on a multi-institutional project between UW-Bothell, Purdue University, and University of Arizona where my team and I are compiling a corpus of texts written by undergraduate engineering students enrolled in engineering design courses. Our project is investigating genre structures of problem-solution texts, and linguistic patterns associated with “effective communication.” We will be submitting an NSF grant proposal later in 2020 in hopes of getting support for our project. Adjacent to this project is my work with Shelley Staples at University of Arizona where we are investigating the results of a linked composition course with a First Year Engineering course at Purdue University.
Slightly different from my research above, though still tightly connected with teaching, another area of research that I focus on is building effective anti-racist and feminist pedagogy. I am currently working on a pilot project exploring best practices for syllabi design and building community in the classroom by having students negotiate and revise the syllabus as a class.
Shin, J., Velázquez, A.J., Swatek, A., Staples, S., & Partridge, R.S. (2018). Examining the effectiveness of corpus-informed instruction of reporting verbs in L2 first-year college writing. L2 Journal, 10(3), 31-46.