Try This: Research Methods for Writers

  • Research, Pedagogy, Writing

By Jennifer Clary-Lemon, Derek Mueller, and Kate Pantelides
Copy edited by Karen P. Peirce. Designed by Mike Palmquist.

CoverTry This explores interdisciplinary research methods employed in research in writing studies but rarely drawn upon in undergraduate courses. This shifts writing instruction from a model of knowledge delivery and solitary research to a pedagogy of knowledge-making and an acknowledgment of research writing as collective, overlapping, and distributed. Each chapter is organized around methods to approach a particular kind of primary data—texts, artifacts, places, and images. Accompanying "Try This" invention projects in each chapter invite readers to "try" the research methods. Some projects are designed to try during class time and take 5 to 15 minutes, while others are extensive and will take days to accomplish. Each research writing opportunity introduced in a "Try This" invention project is designed to scaffold a research project. Each chapter offers different genres that allow research to circulate and connect meaningfully with audiences, including digital research posters, data visualizations, and short-form presentations.

Table of Contents

Open the entire book:   In PDF Format PDF Format     In ePub Format ePub Format

Front Matter


Chapter 1. What are Research Methods?

Chapter 2. Making Research Ethical

Chapter 3. Working with Sources: Worknets and Invention

Chapter 4. Working With Words

Chapter 5. Working With People

Chapter 6. Working With Places and Things

Chapter 7. Working with Visuals

Chapter 8. Research and the Rhetorical Forms It Takes


About the Authors

Jennifer Clary-Lemon is Associate Professor of English at the University of Waterloo. She is the author of Planting the Anthropocene: Rhetorics of Natureculture, Cross Border Networks in Writing Studies (with Mueller, Williams, and Phelps), and co-editor of Decolonial Conversations in Posthuman and New Material Rhetorics (with Grant) and Relations, Locations, Positions: Composition Theory for Writing Teachers (with Vandenberg and Hum). Her research interests include rhetorics of the environment, theories of affect, writing and location, material rhetorics, critical discourse studies, and research methodologies. Her work has been published in Rhetoric Review, Discourse and Society, The American Review of Canadian Studies, Composition Forum, Oral History Forum d'histoire orale, enculturation, and College Composition and Communication.

Derek N. Mueller is Professor of Rhetoric and Writing and Director of the University Writing Program at Virginia Tech. His teaching and research attends to the interplay among writing, rhetorics, and technologies. Mueller regularly teaches courses in visual rhetorics, writing pedagogy, first-year writing, and digital media. He continues to be motivated professionally and intellectually by questions concerning digital writing platforms, networked writing practices, theories of composing, and discipliniographies or field narratives related to writing studies/rhetoric and composition. Along with Andrea Williams, Louise Wetherbee Phelps, and Jen Clary-Lemon, he is co-author of Cross-Border Networks in Writing Studies (Inkshed/Parlor, 2017). His 2018 monograph, Network Sense: Methods for Visualizing a Discipline (in the WAC Clearinghouse #writing series) argues for thin and distant approaches to discerning disciplinary patterns. His other work has been published in College Composition and Communication, Kairos, Enculturation, Present Tense, Computers and Composition, Composition Forum, and JAC.

Kate Lisbeth Pantelides is Associate Professor of English and Director of General Education English at Middle Tennessee State University. Kate's research examines workplace documents to better understand how to improve written and professional processes, particularly as they relate to equity and inclusion. In the context of teaching, Kate applies this approach to iterative methods of teaching writing to students and teachers, which informs her recent co-authored project, A Theory of Public Higher Education (with Blum, Fernandez, Imad, Korstange, and Laird). Her work has been recognized in The Best of Independent Rhetoric and Composition Journals and circulates in venues such as College Composition and Communication, Composition Studies, Computers and Composition, Inside Higher Ed, Journal of Technical and Professional Writing, and Review of Communication.

Publication Information: Clary-Lemon, Jennifer, Derek Mueller, & Kate Pantelides. (2022). Try This: Research Methods for Writers. The WAC Clearinghouse; University Press of Colorado.

Digital Publication Date: January 3, 2022
Print Publication Date: July 2022

ISBN: 978-1-64215-144-2 (PDF) | 978-1-64215-145-9 (ePub) | 978-1-64642-312-5 (pbk.)
DOI: 10.37514/PRA-B.2022.1442

Contact Information:
Jennifer Clary-Lemon:
Derek Mueller:
Kate L. Pantelides:

Practices & Possibilities

Series Editors: Aimee McClure, Clarke University; Mike Palmquist, Colorado State University; and Aleashia Walton, University of Cincinnati

Acrobat Reader DownloadThis book is available in whole and in part in Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). It is also available in a low-cost print edition from our publishing partner, the University Press of Colorado.

Copyright © 2022 Jennifer Clary-Lemon, Derek Mueller, and Kate Pantelides. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License. 174 pages, with illustrations and bibliographies. This book is available in print from University Press of Colorado as well as from any online or brick-and-mortar bookstore. Available in digital formats for no charge on this page at the WAC Clearinghouse. You may view this book. You may print personal copies of this book. You may link to this page. You may not reproduce this book on another website.