College Writing Research Project

All College Writing students undertake a research project on a topic of their choice.  The project culminates in an 8-10 page research paper. 

Project Objectives:

  • Students will familiarize themselves with library resources and information systems
  • Students will familiarize themselves with background information, key terms, context, and existing conversation surrounding a given subject
  • Students will articulate a focused research question and define a manageable scope for the project
  • Students will identify and differentiate disciplinary approaches in the Academy in order to process the information they gather and complement their own approach to the subject
  • Students will preview and critically evaluate source material and distinguish between popular and scholarly sources
  • Students will move beyond debate-style, report or simple synthesis towards analytical research grounded in primary source material
  • Students will coordinate multiple sources and strategically balance how those sources critically advance student’s own idea
  • Students will understand the basics of academic integrity and ethical use of intellectual property


Students have the opportunity to submit their research papers for publication.

McLeod Writing Prize

Research is a significant, valued, and valuable part of the undergraduate experience. Students whose research explores some aspect of race, gender and/or identity can be nominated for the Dean James E. McLeod First-Year Writing Prize. Winners receive a certificate of award, $250, and the possibility of publishing their work.

McLeod Writing Prize


REMAKE is a space for the new thought and vision of first-year undergraduate students. Current first-year students can submit any work produced during their first year of undergraduate study. Accepted work will be published in an annual print and digital issue and all submitted work will be considered for REMAKE Forum and the annual REMAKE contest.


Mendel Sato Research Award

The Sato Research Award is looking for projects that draw from research conducted with the Julian Edison Department of Special Collections. Projects can be in any medium from written papers to multimedia projects. Winning students will receive a $500 prize and their work will be preserved in the University Libraries' Digital Collections.

Sato Research Award


The goal of the Washington University Undergraduate Research Digest (WUURD) is to reach a broad audience; therefore, we are interested in publishing articles from all undergraduates, regardless of their areas of academic interest. Submissions may be in the form of either feature articles or 300-word summaries.



The University Libraries offer students access to research collections, popular and scholarly resources, research assistance online and in person, and spaces to study. Each College Writing section will be assigned a librarian. Librarians are available to advise on any aspect of the research process including finding, accessing, using, and citing information. Librarians also have subject expertise in almost all majors offered on campus, and can also assist with research and data management.

College Writing Library Guide

Students' Research Surveys

Students can create surveys to collect data for their College Writing research projects. You can contribute to their research by completing the surveys below:* 

Location and Migration of Children of Immigrants

WashU Tattoo Stats (for people with and without tattoos)

Seasonal Affective Disorder

STEM Students' Perceptions of Liberal Arts

Impacts of Gifted and Talented Programs (or lack thereof)

Birth Order Questionnaire

Therapy Animal Programs @WashU

The Gender Gap in STEM Fields

Communication Challenges for First-Years at WashU


How Aware Are You of Your Purchases?

Do You Wear Denim?

Online and Face-to-Face Interactions and Interpersonal Relationships of WashU Students

The Effects of Watching Scary Movies

Breakfast Correlation to Ability to Focus and General Success

Technological Media on Mental Health

Personality Trait & Dream Content

Identity + Geography

Emotions and Dreams

Culture Shock

GenZ's Perception on Digital Security and Digital Privacy

Sexualization in Meat Advertisements

The Effects of Exercise on Undergraduate Mental Health


WashU Meal Plan and Dining Service

The Relationship Between Sleep and Expectations for the College Experience

Pinterest Aesthetics and Identity Expression


Social Media and Humanitarian Crises

Student Perception of Poetry

What's in a Name?

Victor Ninov, Scientific Fraud, and the Replication Crisis

TikTok News Impacting Generation Z's Climate Change Activism

City Flag Survey

Societal Perceptions of Plus-Sized Models

Online Ordering and College Connections

Exploring Culinary Traditions & Gender: A Survey on Food, Media, and Societal Roles

Supernatural Beliefs

Communication Media Dependency & Addiction

Legacy & College Admissions

WashU Student Body Perceptions of School Ranking

High School Discipline - The Implications

Dreams and Emotions

What Do You Think About Brandy Melville?

Social Media and Identity

Exercise and Academic Performance

Lowering the Costs of Medical Education

Nuclear Power

Social Media Pressures on Activism

Taylor Swift and Parasocial Relationships

Perceptions Toward Aging

How Pickup Truck Advertisements Are Perceived by Viewers

Eating Habits

Sad Music and Mood

Want to Go Thrifting?

Impact of Your Favorite Story from Childhood

Formation of Communities and Connections through Video Games

Phage Therapy vs. Traditional Antibiotics


To submit your research survey for inclusion on this page, please complete the Survey Link Submission Form.


*All data will be used only for educational purposes and is neither intended to develop/contribute to generalizable knowledge, nor to be shared outside of coursework.  If identifiable information is collected, it will not be shared or released.  Occasionally, College Writing research projects are featured in university-sponsored events, prizes, and publications (Remake, the A&S Undergraduate Research Symposium, the James E. McLeod First-Year Writing PrizeEmerging Voices) and your responses to these surveys may inform such shared materials.