About this collection

Julie Townsend


This collection of texts aims at making writing studies and New Literacy Studies accessible and relevant to first-year writers across all disciplines. Writers with different experience levels and a wide range of goals will benefit from learning how to study reading, writing, communication, literacy, and education with the tools available from the discipline of writing. The essays contained in this text are strong examples of first-year writers investigating a wide range of contexts to better understand the literacies that make up their lives.

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first-year writing, writing studies, New Literacy Studies, open pedagogy, student-centered writing, student voices, research writing, student example essays, activity theory, actor-network theory

How to use this text

Introduction to “writing about writing” and essay sequence

Chapter 1 introduces the topic of “writing about writing” and describes the essay sequence that guides writers through the research process. Chapter 1 also gives writers details on how to approach each essay in the sequence including: observations (essay 1), scholarly research (essay 2), a plan for a full research project (essay 3), and a full research project (essay 4). Resources for each essay include what to expect when writing, video walkthroughs, example essays, and instructions for writers with grading rubrics and learning objectives.

Essays by theme

Chapters 2-8 showcase excellent examples of “writing about writing” by theme, including: Literacies at work, for fun, and at school, Literacies across the disciplines, Convincing Discourses, African American English and the communities it influences, 21st-century media and issues, English and the global perspective, and COVID and learning.


The cover image was created by Thomas Townsend and is licensed under CC-BY-SA-NC.

Images within the cover include:

“Euclid Avenue at Cleveland State University” by mark.souther is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0




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