Dartmouth Summer Seminar for Composition Research 2012

2nd Annual Dartmouth Summer Seminar for Composition Research
July 29 - August 10, 2012
Hanover, NH

The 2012 Dartmouth Summer Seminar for Composition Research is designed for WPAs and writing faculty from all types of higher education venues engaged in research about composition, and looking for an intensive, high-powered two weeks to work on that research and to learn the best approaches and methods from national experts. Guided interaction about participants’ projects is offered in the months leading up to the Seminar. The Seminar itself offers coursework, small-group discussion and exchange, individual consultation with Seminar leaders, time to work alone or in groups on research projects, and a concluding presentation to the group with feedback from team leaders.

If you’ve been asking yourself questions like the following, this is the seminar for you:

• How do I turn an interest into a viable investigation?
• My predecessor had all these records. What should I do with them?
• I want to know about [your topic here]; where can I look to find data?
• What can I learn from prior research on my topic and how can I distinguish my work from all that has gone before?
• My research interests seem so different from anything I have seen published. Where do I begin?
• Why would anyone else be interested in my research?
• What data do I collect for my research study? How do I collect it? How do I keep a record?
• What should I look for when I analyze the data? What is the deeper phenomenon I am looking for? What is a good site for investigating it?
• Where can I learn more about how to select a sample, how to identify a control group, and how to calculate statistical significance?
• Should I conduct a pilot study first? What are the advantages and disadvantages of a pilot study (including funding)?
• What kinds of institutional approval are necessary (notably IRB) and how and when should I go through that process?
• Why does my research question keep changing?
• What’s the best way to present and publish my research?

We will cover a range of topics related to all stages of the research process, and we will tailor our detailed schedule of topics to fit the needs of our selected participants. The 2011 Seminar, for example, covered effective literature reviews, data segmenting and coding, statistics, statistical software, writing for publication, IRB processes, and working with Institutional Research offices.

A detailed announcement will be available September 30th; the application will be due December 15th 2011. Contact christiane.donahue@dartmouth.edu with any questions. Organized in collaboration with the Council of Writing Program Administrators.
 

Comments

I participated in the 2011 seminar, and was thrilled. Before the seminar, and in my two weeks in Hanover, I learned a lot and refined my research project in extremely productive ways.

Some background: before my 2010–11 sabbatical, I decided to devote most of my leave to scholarly retooling, having realized my lack of formal training in empirical research was preventing me from engaging the kind of scholarship I found most valuable. The seminar guided my reading and helped cement much of the knowledge I gained during the year. Facilitators provided insightful suggestions about my project and guided my continued retooling by pointing out methods which would be rewarding. And I made some friendships that I know will be fruitful, too.

I'm happy to answer questions about the seminar from a participant's point of view. cb-dilger@wiu.edu