As part of my graduate studies, I was tasked with overseeing and completing a research project on a topic related to the field of composition. I knew I wanted to look at how writers write, how the changes one will make from a first draft to a second affect the reading of the final product, how a piece of writing evolves from a concept to a publication. Starting only with a basic proposal, I received approval from my university’s Institutional Review Board, acquired writing samples from the test subjects, and began my investigation into how first-year writing students modify and adapt their compositions, in order to create an improvement.
If that wasn’t enough, this project was also presented at the 2018 College English Association Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida, as part of the Attitude, Access, Advocacy: Overcoming Obstacles in First-Year Writing panel. This was my first time presenting at an academic conference and, as nervous as I was, I hope to return one day with more pertinent research.
Please keep in mind this was a project meant to be small in scale and completed within a period of three months. As such, this research project is limited to a case study of three individuals.
Special thanks to Ian Barnard, the professor and principal investigator overseeing the project, and Meghan Kemp-Gee, the professor who lent me her students as subjects.