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Researching the Writing Center

Towards an Evidence-Based Practice

Rebecca Day Babcock and Terese Thonus

Researching the Writing Center is the first book-length treatment of the research base for academic writing tutoring. The book reviews the current state of writing center scholarship, arguing that although they continue to value anecdotal and experiential evidence, practitioner-researchers must also appreciate empirical evidence as mediating theory and practice. Readers of this book will discover an evidence-based orientation to research and be able to evaluate the current scholarship on recommended writing center practice. Chapters examine the research base for current theory and practice involving the contexts of tutoring, tutoring activities, and the tutoring of «different» populations. Readers will investigate the sample research question, «What is a ‘successful’ writing consultation?» The book concludes with an agenda for future questions about writing center practice that can be researched empirically. Researching the Writing Center is intended for writing center professionals, researchers, graduate students in English, composition studies, and education, and peer tutors in training.


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Appendix A: KU Writing Center: Research Information Sample Informed Consent Form


a p p e n d i x a KU Writing Center Research Information Statement/Oral Consent The KU Writing Center at the University of Kansas supports the practice of pro- tection for human subjects participating in research. The following information is provided for you to decide whether you wish to participate in the present study. You should be aware that even if you agree to participate in this study, you are free to withdraw at any time without penalty. At that time, any data collected that could be associated with your participation will be destroyed. We are conducting this study to better understand conversations in writing cen- ter consultations and to use this knowledge to improve writing consultant practice. We ask, “What features of writing center talk—conversational moves by consult- ants and writers, including questions, restatements, and suggestions—best facilitate student learning and revision?” To answer this question, we will make an audio- recording of your consulting session today. To follow up, we may conduct a 10- minute interview with you and/or ask you to complete a brief online questionnaire. This questionnaire will take less than 10 minutes to complete. The content of the questionnaire or interview should cause no more discomfort than you would experience in your everyday life. Although participation may not Approved by the Human Subjects Committee University of Kansas, Lawrence Cam- pus (HSCL) on 1/24/2012. Approval expires one year from 2/6/2012 HSCL# 17819 B&T Final_B&T fin 6/19/12 3:21 PM Page 181...

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