AWAC Elections 2024

The 2024 AWAC elections are officially open! If you are an AWAC member, please take a few minutes to visit the elections page to vote. (You will need to have an up-to-date membership, and you will need to log in to the site).

The ballot will remain open until May 1. Elected members will assume their new positions on July 1.

Call for Proposals: 2024 AWAC Research Initiative Grants

Proposal deadline April 30, 2024

The Association for Writing Across the Curriculum (AWAC) brings together the intellectual, human, political, and economic capital of the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) community to better support and grow WAC as a global intellectual and pedagogical movement. AWAC promotes initiatives that support students’ writing across their academic careers, faculty development related to student writing and writing pedagogy, and research into writing across domains (e.g. disciplines, professions, communities, and academic levels) and transnationally. In the spirit of this mission, the AWAC Research Initiative Grants support research of benefit to the WAC community.

AWAC expects to award a small set of grants ranging from $1000 to $4000. 

We especially invite applications from graduate students, early career researchers, scholars working with underrepresented groups, and those involved in international collaborations.

Eligibility and Funding Restrictions

All award recipients must be United States citizens or residents (or hold a valid US work/study visa) at the time of the award. Recipients may not be members of the AWAC Executive Board or Proposal Review Panel at the time of award, nor have received funding from AWAC in the past two years. Research Initiative Grants are for the explicit purpose of conducting research in WAC-related areas. Funds may not be used for any partisan activity (political support, donations, creation of materials in support of candidates, etc.), or in lobbying activities. Doctoral students must be in good standing at an accredited institution. Applicants must be members of AWAC at time of submission.

Application Criteria and Procedures

AWAC invites proposals for research that can contribute to our understanding of contemporary issues related to writing in academic and disciplinary spaces. Effective proposals should convey the importance of this work for the WAC community, clearly identifying how it extends existing knowledge and scholarship, and the potential application of its findings. Proposals should also articulate how this research will be disseminated, once complete, and to whom it will be shared (i.e., scholarly and public).

Though particular focus areas and methodologies are open, AWAC encourages research that is of benefit to underrepresented communities, utilizes innovative methodologies, examines conditions of labor, or could otherwise expand the scope of knowledge in the WAC community. AWAC is especially interested in applications that make explicit contributions to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.

Proposals should include:

  1. A cover page that contains the title of the proposal, the name(s) and full contact information of the investigator(s), and, in the event of multiple investigators, the designation of a principal contact (maximum: 1 page).
  2. A narrative of approximately 1,500 words (12-point font, 1-inch margins) that:
    1. Defines the project and clearly articulates the research questions and timeline
    2. Briefly articulates how the research is situated within the existing body of WAC knowledge and what gaps it is addressing
    3. Describes the methods and methodologies the project will draw on, showing methodological congruence with the research question(s). If working with human subjects, describes IRB status
    4. Describes the resources needed to complete the project and how this award will be used in meeting those resource-needs
    5. Identifies how the research will be disseminated when complete, to both public and scholarly communities
  3. Detailed budget form with justifications for all expenses (sample provided). Please note that all funds must be used for direct costs only (i.e., research materials, participant incentives, software, transcription, travel to research sites). Indirect costs (such as conference travel, publication fees or indexing, institutional overhead, etc.) cannot be covered by this award. Compensation for research assistants is allowed if paid directly to assistant. Identify any additional funding sources already secured that will also support this research.
  4. Include a current CV for all applicants. Doctoral students may wish to include information about coursework completed and contact information of the student’s advisor.

Awards are made to individuals, not institutions. Applicants must belong to AWAC at the time of proposal submission. There is no time requirement for research projects; a report will be required after one calendar year.

Proposals will be reviewed by the AWAC Research and Publications Committee. A summary report will be required after one year; a final report at the completion of the study. A précis of the research will be hosted on the AWAC website. 

If you have questions, please contact the Research & Publications Chairs (Tom Deans, Callie Messerschmidt) at gro.noitaicossACAW@snoitacilbuPCAWA

Proposals must be submitted by 11:59 PM, EST, on April 30, 2024, as a single email attachment—Word or PDF only to gro.noitaicossACAW@snoitacilbuPCAWA

AWAC Workshops on Grantwriting

The Research & Publications Committee of the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum invites AWAC members to a series of workshops on grantwriting. Two online, synchronous sessions will be led by Elizabeth Wardle, Howe Distinguished Professor of Written Communication and Director, Howe Center for Writing Excellence, Miami University (Ohio). Prior to becoming an academic, Elizabeth was a fundraiser and grantwriter for non-profits. She has also taught undergraduate grantwriting courses.

This 2-part series will help participants understand possible grant funding sources and the genre of the grant proposal. Participants are encouraged but not required to attend both sessions.

Zoom links/calendar invites will be sent to registrants ahead of the sessions. Attendance is limited to AWAC members.

Part 1: The Nature of Grantwriting and How to Find Funding

March 15, 11am-noon EST

This workshop will talk about grants and the ecology of grantwriting and demonstrate where and how to find grant funding beyond the grants provided by our field’s professional organizations.

Part 2: The Genre of the Grant Proposal

March 22, 11am-noon EST

This workshop will engage participants in a genre analysis of grant proposals, with the goal of illustrating the rhetorical moves that grant proposals need to make.

Registration

Please register using our registration form.

AWAC Is Sponsoring a GSOLE Panel!

Workshops on Grantwriting

This event has been postponed to spring 2024, dates to be announced.

AWAC Research & Publications Committee invites members to a series of workshops on grantwriting.

Two online, synchronous sessions will be led by Elizabeth Wardle, Howe Distinguished Professor of Written Communication and Director, Howe Center for Writing Excellence, Miami University (Ohio). Prior to becoming an academic, Elizabeth was a fundraiser and grantwriter for non-profits. She has also taught undergraduate grantwriting courses.

This 2-part series will help participants understand possible grant funding sources and the genre of the grant proposal. Participants are encouraged but not required to attend both sessions.

IWAC Conference Volume CFP

Call for Proposals: 2023 AWAC Research Initiative Grants

The Association for Writing Across the Curriculum (AWAC) is a professional organization that brings together the intellectual, human, political, and economic capital of the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) community to better support and grow WAC as a global intellectual and pedagogical movement. AWAC promotes initiatives that support students’ writing across their academic careers, faculty development related to student writing and writing pedagogy, and research into writing across domains (e.g. disciplines, professions, communities, and academic levels) and transnationally.

Statement on Artificial Intelligence Writing Tools in Writing Across the Curriculum Settings

A Statement from the AWAC Executive Committee

January 30, 2023

For over a decade, researchers and entrepreneurs have been developing Artificial Intelligence text generators. In recent years, tools such as OpenAI’s GPT-2 and GPT-3 or Chat GPT have become sophisticated enough to produce texts that some readers find difficult to distinguish from texts produced by human writers. This development raises practical, pedagogical, and ethical concerns, including in academic settings.

A fundamental tenet of Writing Across the Curriculum is that writing is a mode of learning. Students develop understanding and insights through the act of writing. Rather than writing simply being a matter of presenting existing information or furnishing products for the purpose of testing or grading, writing is a fundamental means to create deep learning and foster cognitive development. Learning to write within a field or major is also one of the most critical ways that emerging scholars and professionals become enculturated in a discourse community. We are concerned that relying on AI text generators limits student learning and enculturation.

Our Position

As scholars in the discipline of writing studies more fully explore the practical and ethical implications of AI language generators in classroom and other settings, we underscore this: Writing to learn is an intellectual activity that is crucial to the cognitive and social development of learners and writers. This vital activity cannot be replaced by AI language generators.

That said, we understand that institutions, departments, and faculty will have to decide locally what role AI text generators should play in their situations. Some learning communities might reject these technologies outright, including them, for example, in campus policies about plagiarism. Other communities might find productive pedagogical roles for this technology; indeed, some writing teachers are having students explore and experiment, in a critical fashion, with AI writing: its potential for aspects of the writing process, its limitations, its ethics, its costs. Furthermore, in some professional fields, AI tools have been available for years, and professors in those fields have incorporated attention to them in teaching.

Context, Past and Future

The history of writing is marked by changes in technologies that have shaped how people write and what writing can accomplish: from clay tablets to papyrus, quill pens to pencils, handwriting to typing to texting, words to image to design to multimodality, physical library to the world wide web. On one hand, AI text generators are yet another technology with potential uses in various invention, drafting, and editing processes. On the other hand, their potential autonomy from human writers makes them qualitatively different from previous technologies.

While exclusively having AIs generate writing does not engage students in an essential mode of learning, it is also clear that writing scholars and WAC faculty should explore whether–and, if so, how–AI text generation tools might be integrated into writing pedagogy. The WAC Clearinghouse hosts a page of useful resources: AI Text Generators and Teaching Writing: Starting Points for Inquiry. We might pose these research questions: Might the acts of critiquing, rewriting, or discussing AI-generated text foster growth? Are there scenarios where student writing might productively be complemented, supplemented, or assisted by AI language generators? Can this happen in ways that do not preempt student learning?

It is premature to provide answers to such questions, which need thoughtful investigation. We look forward to that research.

Reaffirming Best Practices

Current AI discussions remind us, yet again, of long-established best practices in Writing Across the Curriculum, grounded in research and extant for decades: designing meaningful and specific assignments that foster learning and develop skills; focusing on processes and practices such as peer-response and revision; encouraging writing in multiple genres, including ones connected to specific disciplinary practices.

We recommend fostering the kind of deep learning and cognitive development that students gain through writing to learn and through learning to write in specific situations.

About this Document

Joining the Executive Committee (Doug Hesse, Justin Rademaekers, Ann Blakeslee, Laurie Britt-Smith, Karen Moroski-Rigney, Sherri Craig, and Paula Roskinksi) in drafting was Stacey Sheriff. We sent a draft version of this statement to AWAC members in mid-January, and their thoughtful comments informed revisions. Contact: Doug Hesse, AWAC Chair, at ude.ud@essehd.

This statement is also available as a PDF.

Call for Awards Nominations

WAC GO & Mentoring Committee Spring Workshop Survey