Literacy researchers might develop a richer understanding of how literacy practices construct communities and writers within those communities through more detailed attention to what writers do when they write. Very little is currently known about the processes by which individuals are actually composing in digital writing environments. However, in this cultural moment of sweeping social, linguistic, and technological literacy transformations, research on digital composing processes involves unique methodological challenges. Contemporary writing technologies intersect with digital literacy composing processes in ways that require critical ethical and methodological decision-making by literacy researchers at all stages of the research process. In this article, I argue that research on contemporary composing processes provides a crucial window onto literacy as a social practice, and further, that such research poses unique methodological challenges for researchers. Through an examination of Facebook writers’ composing processes, I articulate some of these challenges and offer guidance for future research.
research methods; composing process; Facebook; social media