Notes: Michael M. Williamson & Brian Huot “A Modest Proposal for Common Ground and Language for Research in Writing”

Williamson, Michael M. & Brian Huot. (2012). A modest proposal for common ground and language for research in writing. In K.M. Powell & Pamela Takayoshi (Eds.) Practicing research in writing studies. New York: Hampton Press, 31-57.


While arguing for further development of language surrounding methods and methodology that circulate writing studies, the authors name four “elements of research” that construct research: epistemology, method, representation, and documentation.

Keywords: composition, disciplinarity, methodology, research methods, rhetoric, writing studies


“Although we applaud the CCCC’s interest and effort to resuscitate a healthy, empirical research agenda for college level writing, to harness this kairotic, disciplinary moment, it is important to move beyond simplistic, essentialized discourses about interpretations of specific research” (p. 32).

Questions and Reflection:

I’m very interested in how these elements operate as the function of the discipline. The authors are clear about how each of the elements of research comprise research in the field and how this makes the field. I’m curious how this research and the creation of common language surrounding these methods alters or disciplines the narrative of disciplinarity in rhet/comp.

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