How does a country invent a new discipline? || Inkshed and Canadian Writing Centres by Margaret Procter

Margaret Procter is a scholar of writing and rhetoric in Canada, and mentor to many writing centre scholars, tutors, and administrators. Inkshed (CASLL), the brain child of Russ Hunt (St Thomas University), is a key organization in the development of writing and rhetoric in Canada, which Theresa Hyland called, “the grandmother” of both the CASDW and CWCA. The Inkshed archives are an important and vital history and repository.

Inkshed and Canadian Writing Centres (From the WLN Blog, Connection Writing Centers Across Borders)

How does a country invent a new discipline? The answer for Canada would have to involve the organization commonly called Inkshed (otherwise the Canadian Association for the Study of Language and Learning). It brought university teachers together in person and online from 1982 to 2015 to discuss how students learn to use texts, write with their own voices, and interact to develop ideas. In the process, Inkshed gave Canadian writing-centre faculty a way to think about their particular kind of teaching and helped them become growth points in the emerging discipline of writing studies. As a new writing-centre director in the 1990s, I found a community in Inkshed conferences, listserv exchanges, and newsletters. I learned from Inkshed what writing instruction could be, and gained encouragement by seeing others navigate the issues I also faced. Continue reading…


Call for papers || Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing Conference, May/June 2015, Ottawa, ON

The Writing Commons: Research and Pedagogy in Writing and Discourse

The Seventh Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing (CASDW / ACR)

University of Ottawa – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Saturday, May 30 to Monday, June 1, 2015


We invite papers on all aspects of writing studies for the seventh annual conference of CASDW/ACR, the largest gathering of writing studies scholars in Canada. In particular, we invite papers on research into discourse and on writing theory and pedagogy connecting with our theme of The Writing Commons. This theme suggests multiple interpretations of “common” and the intersections of these meanings with writing.

Papers might address topics such as:

  • the nature of public discourse and public writing; past, present, or future of public discourses
  • writing commonplaces: beliefs and perceptions about writing and writing pedagogy; how these commonplaces are challenged or supported
  • the writing centre as a “writing commons”
  • writing to build public knowledge, disciplinary knowledge, or the professions
  • common versus individual voice(s) and identities in writing
  • writing and accessibility: who needs access and improving access
  • the role of writing in academic institutions: democratic impulses and policy making
  • writing and resources – what we have, what we share, what we need to protect

Papers that address the 2015 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences theme of Capital Ideas s are also welcome.

We invite papers that draw on work in genre studies, rhetorical theory, writing studies, writing centre theory and practice, and professional and technical writing research and practice. We welcome papers that connect with CASDW’s heritage as a place for sharing research on technical and professional writing as well as those that connect with its more inclusive mission to examine all forms of discourse and writing and to explore pedagogical practices and innovations.

The proposal deadline is January 12, 2015 (See Proposal Requirements below).


CASDW 2015 – Proposal Requirements

  1. Paper title and a short (75-word) description for the program overview
  1. Name, title, institutional affiliation, & email for ALL presenters
  1. Session format (check one)
  • INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION: a 15- to 20-minute individual paper presenting the results of new research or focusing on a  pedagogical issue or innovation.
  • PANEL PRESENTATION of 90-min. (3-5 speakers) comprising a collection of individual papers on a shared topic of interest related  to discourse or the teaching of writing.
  • WORKSHOP of 90-min.  or  180-min. focusing on a research method, pedagogical concern (e.g., assignment design or feedback), or professional skill (e.g., grant writing or interviewing).
  • POSTER PRESENTATION: one poster that describes new research, completed or in progress, focusing on writing or writing centre concerns. Poster to be presented at one common hour-long session. At least one presenter must be present during this time.
  1. Abstract for the proposed paper (400 words maximum, plus references)
  • For individual papers and panels, please
    (1) state the research question or describe the pedagogical issue or innovation;
    (2) establish its significance; (3) outline the theoretical framework and research method;
    (4) highlight key findings (and, optionally, implications); & (5) include a brief reference list.
  • Note: panel proposals may include a separate title, short description, and abstract for each paper OR include a single title, description, and abstract encompassing all the papers in the panel.
  • For workshops, please describe the objectives and proposed workshop activities.
  • For posters, please indicate whether the research is completed or in progress.
  1. AV requirements: Projector & screen     Laptop       Other:________________________


  1. Conference proceedings: If you will not be seeking publication in a scholarly journal (including the Canadian Journal for Studies in Discourse and Writing, published by CASDW), are you interested in submitting your paper for inclusion in conference proceedings to be published online on the CASDW website? (Manuscripts would be required by June 30, 2015.)    Yes     No   Unsure

Proposal deadline: January 12, 2015

Please email proposals and inquiries to the program chair, Boba Samuels, at

All proposals will be subject to blind review.

Proposers will be notified of their acceptance status by February 15, 2015.

Save the date: CASDW conference May 24-26, 2014

Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing

Please join us for the annual conference of the Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing (CASDW), to be held at Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, in conjunction with the Congress of the Humanities and social Sciences.  Information about the Congress is available at

PS: In the Call for Papers cover email, you may have noted an error in the conversions from kilometers to miles. St. Catharines, ON, is about 20 kilometers from Niagara Falls, ON, which is about 12 miles, and it’s about 50 kilometers, or 30 miles from Buffalo, NY. Sorry for the confusion! JA


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Report: Integrating Online Writing Assistance into the Classroom Creates Challenges, by Boba Samuels, Kelly McDonald, & Emmy Misser, Wilfrid Laurier University

Integrating Online Writing Assistance into the Classroom Creates Challenges


“In an effort to improve writing skills, the Writing Centre at Wilfrid Laurier University developed a series of free online resources and tools for students. However, a recent study by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) found that even when integrated into the classroom experience, only a small number of students actually used the tool as they felt it was not relevant to them, and those who did saw no impact on their grades. The authors feel further research is needed into how to best integrate the service into the classroom, including potentially assigning grades for its use.”

Comments are open.

Inkshed Publications is currently seeking proposals for edited collections

Inkshed Publications is currently seeking proposals for edited collections (~250 pages), monographs (~100-125 pages), and studies (30-70 pages) on a wide variety of topics including:

  • writing studies research and pedagogy
  • writing centre research and practice
  • rhetoric (theories of and specific practices)
  • critical literacy studies of all kinds
  • studies of texts and how they are composed, read, and used
  • studies of literature and response to literature
  • studies of multilingual writers working in English
  • and other fields

To view the full call for proposals, visit the Inkshed blog.

If you have questions about the call or the suitability of a project, contact any member of the editorial team:


Roger Graves & Heather Graves, University of Alberta

Editorial board:

Kathryn Alexander, Independent scholar

Brian Hotson, Saint Mary’s University

Theresa Hyland, Huron University College

Anne Parker, University of Manitoba

Graham Smart, Carleton University

Andrea Williams, University of Toronto