Thinking About Reading and Writing

This assignment provides you with the opportunity to research an issue in reading or writing and present your research in the form of a report to your audience, composition instructors. This audience has great interest in this topic, as all of your potential readers have spent much time and energy learning about reading and writing issues. They will want to read your recommendations. You will work in groups of 2 or 3 on this project, and it will be submitted at the end of the semester as part of your portfolio.


  • This is a group project; the final product must be a collaboration between group members. Not participating in the group project will result in failing the class.
  • Select one reading from the Cornerstone Readings. This essay will provide you with a topic about reading or writing that you will investigate further.
  • Research the topic of your cornerstone reading. You will need 4 additional sources that discuss/speak to the issue presented in the cornerstone reading. For example, if you select the reading about argument writing, then you will need to review/cite from four other sources that also discuss argument.
  • A minimum of five sources are required for this project. The cornerstone reading is required; the other four you find and select. Used composition books and online writing lab (OWL) articles are excellent sources.
  • Cite quotes and paraphrases using MLA eighth edition.
  • The proposal should be 4-5 pages in length, single-spaced (double-space between paragraphs) 12 pt. font, 1″ margins.
  • The proposal should be posted to a Google Doc in the CIDocs folder Thinking About Reading and Writing.
  • Subheadings should be used to distinguish different sections of the proposal from one another. The report should have an abstract (100-200 words), introduction, body, conclusion as minimum subheadings. 
Portfolio due Week 14*

*While the portfolio deadline is not until week 14, there will be numerous deadlines for sections of this project due in the weeks prior. These deadlines will be listed on the weekly agendas.

Important Information

  • The report needs to provide information and critique of writing resources about your topic. Discuss the cornerstone article and the other sources you found extensively. Even though you are making a recommendation, provide readers with enough explanation so they can make up their own minds about the materials.
  • The purpose of the report is for you to present the research materials, including your cornerstone reading, and make a recommendation about what materials are best for students. You will need to both inform about your research materials and argue for the one(s) that is the strongest.
  • Some of the report should discuss how students might react to your research materials and what options might be available for the professor when teaching these materials.
  • An abstract is a brief statement that outlines the report in full. It should be written last.
  • The introduction is a section which states your aims for the report and any background knowledge associated with the report. An introduction will also outline the body of the report.
  • The body of the report will analytically present your research, including your cornerstone reading. As a team, you will need to develop a protocol/criteria for use when analyzing your research materials.
  • The conclusion section discusses your findings and their significance; it also critiques your protocol/criteria. It makes recommendations, and lastly, suggests additional research. Separate sub-headings help make this section of the report more readable.
  • The voice of the report should sound as if it has been written by one person. This means that each group member will need to make compromises in their own writing style. Further, careful editing after drafting will be necessary to achieve an effective tone and voice.
  • Your report is a formal document, so contractions should be avoided, formal sentence structures followed, and only plain graphics that assist in understanding the report should be employed. If you choose to use a personal pronoun, it should be “we.”

Cornerstone Readings

  1. Argument writing – On the Other Hand: The Role of Antithetical in First Year Composition Courses
  2. Designing documents – Beyond Black on White: Document Design and Formatting in the Writing Classroom
  3. Genre theory – Navigating Genres
  4. Language choices – Murder! (Rhetorically speaking)
  5. Process – From Topic to Presentation: Making Choices To Develop Your Writing
  6. Reading to write – How to Read Like a Writer
  7. Reading scholarly articles – Reading Games: Strategies for Reading Scholarly Sources
  8. Responding to an assignment – So You’ve Got a Writing Assignment. Now What?
  9. Revision – Reflective Writing and the Revision Process: What Were You Thinking?
  10. Source use – Annoying Ways People Use Sources
  11. Campus writing centers – Why Visit Your Campus Writing Center?
  12. Rhetorical analysis – Backpack vs. Briefcases: Steps Toward Rhetorical Analysis