Industrial Engineering Writing Group
Elena Cotos is leading the continuous development and evaluation of the Research Writing Tutor (RWT) [https://vimeo.com/90669213], a unique automated writing evaluation tool for teaching and learning research writing in the disciplines. This project is interdisciplinary, stimulating a fruitful collaboration among faculty and graduate students in Applied Linguistics, Computational Linguistics, Human-Computer Interaction, Computer Science, and Education. The research strands focus on pedagogically-driven materials development, building computational models for discourse analysis and feedback, devising metacognitive scaffolding, and investigating the effects of RWT when integrated in learning environments.
Elena Cotos’ project, “Graduate Peer Mentor Program: Exploring forms of discipline-specific writing support,” evaluates a new model for academic writing support to graduate students and post-doctoral associates implemented by the Center for Communication Excellence. Writing support includes individual consultations on discipline-specific research writing by Graduate Peer Mentors, peer review groups, and a series of seminars and workshops. The objectives are to analyze the discipline-specific research communication needs of graduate students and post-doctoral associates; to investigate the impact of the writing support to meet these needs; and to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the approach to training the Graduate Peer Mentors.
Corpus-based Genre Analysis
Elena Cotos conducts corpus-based genre analysis to comprehensively describe the conventions of discipline-specific discourse. Two genres are of primary interest: research articles and grant proposals. Projects centering on the research article use a corpus of 900 journal manuscripts and focus on devising and validating cross-disciplinary IMRD frameworks of communicative moves and functional steps. Similar in methodological approach, the study of the grant proposal genre focuses on the rhetorical composition of its part-genres and comparisons with the colony of promotional and academic genres. For example, a corpus of 80 NSF grant proposals from different disciplines is used to examine the internal structure of Broader Impact sections, with a secondary goal to identify differences between funded and not-funded proposals.