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Research from the Writing Center

The Writing Center hosts Ball State students and faculty with research projects designed to investigate writing centers, tutoring, communication and more. Students have used the center as a site for theses and dissertation work, and Writing Center staff have also presented at writing center conferences and published articles and book chapters.  


Dr. Grutsch McKinney's Book Cover: Peripheral Visions for Writing CentersPeripheral Visions for Writing Centers aims to inspire a re-conception and re-envisioning of the boundaries of writing center work. Moving beyond the grand narrative of the writing center—that it is solely a comfortable, yet iconoclastic place where all students go to get one-to-one tutoring on their writing—McKinney shines light on other representations of writing center work.  

Dr. Grutsch McKinney is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Composition at Ball State University where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses and directs the Writing Center. Her research focuses writing center studies, writing research, and composition pedagogy.  


Grutsch McKinney, Jackie. Peripheral Visions for Writing Centers. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press, 2013. Print.  

Projects, Theses and Dissertations  

Emma Baumann

Emily Standridge

Amber Buck

Carol Chalk

Conference Presentations  

East Central Writing Centers Association (ECWCA)

  • "Hello?: Training eTutors to Engage Unresponsive Clients in Text-Only Online Sessions," ECWCA, 2015, with Liz Whiteacre, Morgan Aprill, and Katherine Hampshire
  • “Writing Across Languages: Cross Disciplinary, Spanish Composition Tutoring in the Writing Center,” ECWCA, 2014, with Jennifer Grouling, Morgan Aprill and Lisa Kurisak
  • “What Should We Call this Space?: Examining the Use of Metaphorical Language in the Writing Center,” ECWCA, 2014, with Matt Balk
  • “When Words Fail: Navigating the Pitfalls of Text-Only E-Tutoring,” ECWCA, 2014, with Lauren Lutz, Tom Carreras, Austin Russell and Liz Whiteacre
  • “Changing Roles: Student Revision and Peer Tutors,” ECWCA, 2012, with Emma Baumann and Kat Greene
  • "Going Online: How Digital Tutoring Affects Client/Consultant Interaction," ECWCA, 2012, with Matt Balk, Yuanyuan Lao and Jennifer Grouling
  • "Creative Writing and the Writing Center: Finding the Converging Point," ECWCA, 2010, with Tyler Gobble
  • "Convergence of the Ball State Writing Center and the Wider Campus Community: The Effect of Increased Advertising on Demand for Writing Center Services," ECWCA, 2010, with Neal Coleman
  • "Exploring the Writing Center's Convergence with Social Capital," ECWCA, 2010, with Phillip Call, Emily Standridge, and Dani Weber
  • "Places Everyone: Sustaining Writing Center Places," ECWCA, 2009, with Sarah Burns, Claire Lutkewitte and Emily Standridge    

Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC)  

  • "Epic Fail: Research on Sessions Gone Awry," International Writing Center Association Collaborative at CCCC, 2010, with Jackie Grutsch McKinney, Emily Standridge, and Dani Weber

Articles and Other Publications  

Amber Buck

Claire Lutkewitte

Dr. Jackie Grutsch McKinney

Selected Works

For other titles, please visit Dr. Grutsch McKinney’s web site.

  • Grutsch McKinney, Jackie. "New Media Matters: Tutoring in the Late Age of Print." Writing Center Journal. 29.2 (Fall 2009): 28-51. Rpt. in The Routledge Reader on Writing Centers and New Media. Eds. Sohui Lee & Rusty Carpenter. Routledge, 2014.
  • Balester, Valerie, Nancy Grimm, Jackie Grutsch McKinney, Sohui Lee, David Sheridan, and Naomi Silver. "The Idea of a Multiliteracy Center: Six Responses.Praxis: A Writing Center Journal. 9.2 (2012): NP.
  • Jackson, Rebecca and Jackie Grutsch McKinney. "Beyond Tutoring: Mapping the Invisible Landscape of WritingCenter Work.Praxis: A Writing Center Journal. 9.1 (2011): NP.
  • Grutsch McKinney, Jackie. “Making Friends with Web 2.0: Writing Centers and Social Networking Sites.” Before and After the Tutorial: Writing Centers and Institutional Relationships. Eds. Robert Koch, William Macauley, and Nick Mauriello. Hampton Press, 2011. 203-214.


The Writing Center
Robert Bell Building (RB), Room 295
Ball State University
Muncie, IN 47306


Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Friday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.


Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Friday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Saturday 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Sunday 5 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Phone: 765-285-8370
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