Making Research and Writing "Real": Using Wiki Technology in the Composition Classroom

Type of Presentation

Individual paper/presentation (20 minute presentation)

Target Audience

Higher Education


Room 212


See presentation description.

Presentation Description

This presentation focuses on our experiences using Wiki technology as a tool to teach research, scholarship, and scholarly modes of writing ranging from basic summary to annotated bibliography. We are an instructor and librarian who collaborate on a University Writing 20 (UW 20) course, a required, four-credit, topic-based rhetoric and composition class at The George Washington University. The idea of scholarship as taking place in a heteroglossic community of inquiry is one that can be difficult to teach to college freshman, who often arrive in academia eager to be given “correct” answers which they can recite back upon demand. The Wiki technology used here as a shared, collaboratively-edited repository for notes on linguistic theory naturalizes research as taking place in conversation with other scholars. Since students constantly see their own writing revised, amended, moved, and positioned in relation to the work of others, they can clearly see the need to look for the empty spaces in existing scholarship and fill them in; they are constantly building off of the work of the idea of research existing within a continuum of existing scholarship, while simultaneously learning the importance of the revising process as it pertains to both writing and research. Students also gain the technical understanding of the nuts and bolts of research using databases and basic web publishing skills. Ultimately, students have an attractive format that legitimizes their work, since writing is instantly “published” and accessible to other students, it is more “real.”


Writing and composition, Wiki technology, First-year courses, Information literacy

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)


Sep 25th, 4:30 PM Sep 25th, 5:30 PM

Making Research and Writing "Real": Using Wiki Technology in the Composition Classroom

Room 212

See presentation description.