Current activities

Fall 2015

  • Industrial Engineering Writing Group

  • Research Writing Tutor (RWT)

    Elena Cotos is leading the continuous development and evaluation of the Research Writing Tutor (RWT) [], a unique automated writing evaluation tool for teaching and learning research writing in the disciplines. This project is Research Writing Tutorinterdisciplinary, 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.

  • Graduate Peer Mentoring Program

Elena Cotos’ project, “Graduate Peer Mentor Program: Exploring forms of discipline-specific writing support,” evaluates a GraduateMentoring Programnew 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 Corpus-based Genre Analysisresearch 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.