Theoretical underpinnings

My work tries to interrogate the ways that ideology is inscribed through our choices of texts, pedagogy, assignments, grading strategies, tutoring practices, responses to papers, and ways of interacting with students both in and outside of the (real and virtual) classroom. The ideology we inscribe at the site of literacy is the most essential because it shapes not only the ways our students read and write about the world, but also the ways they read and write themselves. What kind of citizens are we producing in our classes? And what are the implications of this?  What kind of citizens do we want to produce?  And how do we justify this?

In some way or other, all of my work explores what we are really teaching when we think we are teaching something else. As composition teachers we set out to teach writing, and we often do that by assigning readings. We may discuss the content of the readings, but our major emphasis is on how the essays model the kinds of writing we want our students to produce. Are those essays really appropriate models? For what? What else do they teach? What does the juxtaposition between them teach? In the first year writing course, are we preparing students for college writing, civic engagement, or workplace writing? If we select WAC texts, are they really appropriate models for the disciplines, or do they leave students with the impression that disciplinary distinctions are marked only by content? What impact might this have on already under prepared students? If we select “multicultural” texts, do all of the authors discuss a broad range of topics, or do writers of color write about race, while white women write about gender and white men write about philosophy, etc.? What does this teach our students about who writes and what the academy expects? If we select readings with which we think our students can identify because they share physical or social characteristics with the authors, regardless of whether those texts are “academic” or intellectually challenging, are we really helping our students develop the skills they will need in college and, later, their professional and civic lives? What messages do we send when we think we are “simply” teaching? And how do they influence us as we train writing tutors, set up distance learning programs or service learning projects, talk to a student during our office hours, or make administrative decisions?

Citation Project

The Citation Project is a translocal, transcontextual study of how writers integrate and engage with source material in researched writing for which Rebecca Moore Howard, Tricia Serviss, and I are Principal Researchers. The first study (Howard and Jamieson) focused on the traditional researched essay produced in first-year writing courses. We collected more than 12,000 pages of researched writing produced by students at 16 public and private colleges and universities in the US (including community colleges, Ivy Leagues, research universities, religious institutions, and liberal arts colleges). These papers provide opportunities for qualitative and quantitative analysis. The first stage of the research involved a team of coders using citation context analysis to code 800 pages from those papers (50 randomly selected pages from each institution) and analyzing how sources were integrated in the 1,911 citations (summary, paraphrase, quotation, patchwriting, and copying). This research also included analysis of  the sources selected by the students and the ways different sources are integrated into the papers. Sources were coded for difficulty-level, kind of source, length of source, and page in source cited.

Jamieson and Howard have a contract for a book that will focus on our first study of source use within this corpora of student writing, reporting on statistical and rhetorical analysis of the papers, and making pedagogical and programmatic recommendations.

Serviss and Jamieson are also working on an edited collection of research on researched writing.

Visit the Citation Project website to learn more

Recent Articles on Citation Project research

Summaries of our work: