Writing Knowledge Transfer: Theory, Research, Pedagogy

By Rebecca S. Nowacek, Rebecca Lorimer Leonard, and Angela Rounsaville

Writing Knowledge Transfer: Theory, Research, Pedagogy develops a capacious understanding of transfer in writing studies, tracing the distinct ways transfer has been engaged in various disciplinary fields and drawing connections among similar threads of inquiry. Working from a large-scale, collaborative analysis of some of the most salient long-term debates around transfer, this book guides scholars to link long and broad transfer conversations, attend to troublesome transfer problems in their teaching or research, and support both amplitude (more capacious understandings of writing transfer) and specificity (more detailed and relevant treatments of the term) in research on the transfer of writing knowledge. In addition to a detailed synthesis of multiple disciplines’ treatment of transfer, the book offers five themes developed during a rigorous transdisciplinary reading of approximately seven hundred books and articles on transfer from disciplines including cognitive psychology and situated learning; sports, medical, and aviation education; second language writing; and school-to-work research, among others. Together the themes capture the interdependent relations among transfer’s actors, influences, contexts, and outcomes. They also provide new frames for better understanding learners’ varied and even paradoxical motivations for writing. Ultimately, the book offers value and kinship across disciplines to suggest new transfer questions, lines of inquiry, and theoretical and methodological commitments.

Table of Contents

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Front Matter and Table of Contents

Series Editors’ Preface


1. Introduction

2. Cognitive Psychology and Situated Learning: Foundational Research on Transfer of Learning

3. Transfer of Training and Knowledge Management: Research from Industrial Psychology, Human Resources, and Management

4. Transfer in Sports, Medical, Aviation, and Military Training

5. Transfer Implications from Sociocultural and Sociohistorical Literacy Studies

6. Research on Transfer in Studies of Second Language Writing

7. Transfer in First-Year Writing

8. Infrastructure for the Transfer of Writing Knowledge: Writing Across the Curriculum and Writing in the Disciplines

9. Writing Centers: An Infrastructural Hub for Transfer

10. Writing across Contexts: From School to Work and Beyond

11. Conclusion: Transfer and Transdisciplinarity in Five Themes


Annotated Bibliography



About the Authors

Rebecca S. Nowacek is a professor of English at Marquette University, where she co-directs the Norman H. Ott Memorial Writing Center. Rebecca’s research focuses on writing transfer, writing center studies, and writing across the disciplines. Her publications include Agents of Integration: Understanding Transfer as a Rhetorical Act (Southern Illinois University Press, 2011), Literacy, Economy, and Power (Southern Illinois University Press, 2013), and Citizenship Across the Curriculum (Indiana University Press, 2010). Her work has also appeared in College Composition and Communication, College English, Research in the Teaching of English, and the Journal of General Education. Rebecca was a Carnegie Scholar with the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and a member of Elon University’s 2019–2022 Research Seminar on Writing Beyond the University, as well as the 2012 recipient of Marquette University’s Robert and Mary Gettel Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence.

Rebecca Lorimer Leonard is Associate Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on language diversity, literacy studies, and research methods. Her current research focuses on the relationship between community-engaged writing and critical language awareness, studies of which have been published in Community Literacy Journal, College English, Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, and Composition Studies. She also has published on the transfer of writing knowledge (College Composition and Communication, College English); language identities and institutional surveys (Journal of Language, Identity & Education); and the literate practices of multilingual migrant writers (Written Communication, College English, Research in the Teaching of English). Lorimer Leonard’s monograph, Writing on the Move: Migrant Women and the Value of Literacy, won the 2019 Outstanding Book Award from the Conference on College Composition and Communication.

Angela Rounsaville is a scholar of transnational literacy, genre studies, and transfer and an associate professor of writing at the University of Central Florida. Her current research focuses on inequities in global knowledge economies and the role of genre in continuing and redressing those imbalances. Her work in this area can be found in journals such as College English and Literacy in Composition Studies. She has also published on transnational genre knowledge (Written Communication and Research in the Teaching of English); transfer of writing knowledge (College Composition and Communication, Composition Forum and Writing Program Administration); and equity in writing programs (College English). Angela served as the University of Central Florida’s Director of Composition from 2017 to 2022, and received the 2022-2023 CCCC Writing Program Certificate of Excellence on behalf of UCF’s Composition Program and faculty.

Reference Guides to Rhetoric and Composition

Publication Information: Nowacek, Rebecca S., Rebecca Lorimer Leonard, & Angela Rounsaville. (2024). Writing Knowledge Transfer: Theory, Research, Pedagogy. Parlor Press; The WAC Clearinghouse. https://wac.colostate.edu/books/referenceguides/transfer/ 

Series Editors: Charles Bazerman, University of California, Santa Barbara; Mary Jo Reiff,University of Kansas; and Anis Bawarshi, University of Washington

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Copyright © 2024 by Parlor Press and the WAC Clearinghouse. 454 pages, with notes, bibliography, illustrations, glossary, and index. Available in print from Parlor Press online or at any online or brick-and-mortar bookstore. Available in digital format 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.