Methodological Challenges to Researching Composing Processes in a New Literacy Context

  • Pamela Takayoshi Kent State University
Keywords: research methods, composing process, Facebook, social media

Abstract

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.

Author Biography

Pamela Takayoshi, Kent State University

Pamela Takayoshi is Professor of English at Kent State University. Her work includes several edited collections (the most recent one co-edited with Patrick Thomas: Literacy in Practice: Writing in Public, Private, and Working Lives) and articles which have appeared in College Composition and Communication, Computers and Composition, Research in the Teaching of English, and numerous edited collections.

Published
2016-05-01
Section
Articles