Towards an Evidence-Based Practice
8. An Agenda for Writing Center Research
c h a p t e r e i g h t An Agenda for Writing Center Research Deﬁned originally as service rather than research units, writing cen- ters and the professionals who work in them have struggled over the years to ﬁnd ways to incorporate research systematically into already daunting instructional and administrative loads and sometimes ﬁs- cally uncertain futures. (Kail, 2002, p. 315) We conclude this volume by discussing research questions about writing center practice that have yet to be investigated, selected from each chapter of the book. We propose approaches, methods, and data analysis possibilities for each of these questions. We discuss how continuing to develop a coherent empirical research agenda will prepare writing center researchers to sit at the academic “head table” (Harris, 2000) and to engage in evidence-based practice in the writing center. Research Basics in Evidence-Based Practice Research questions arising from our discussion of approaches and methods in RAD research are not so much empirical as they are visionary. Following Drake (2009), we asked them in Chapter 2 but in the opposite order: B&T Final_B&T fin 6/19/12 3:21 PM Page 170 AN AGENDA FOR WRITING CENTER RESEARCH | 171 1. Who gets to decide what counts as evidence? The “who,” we believe, will increasingly be fellow writing center re- searchers, conference organizers, and publication editors. No longer will professionals in this ﬁeld remain satisﬁed with “comparing notes” about “our writing centers” at conferences; instead, we will want to hear...
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