Carnegie Mellon University

Michael Laudenbach

Michael Laudenbach

Ph.D. Student

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Area of Study

PhD in Rhetoric


With a focus on composition pedagogy, my research draws from corpus linguistics methods and rhetorical theory to describe the variation of genres and registers in student writing. Specifically, I use writing in the discipline of statistics & data science as a case study to address broader questions surrounding corpus-based approaches to genre-based writing instruction: How can corpus linguistics approaches make otherwise tacit genre knowledge visible to students and instructors? How can corpus-based approaches help to build critical language awareness in both students and instructors, and what are the implications for assessment practices? How can digital tools be implemented in the classroom to help students better understand their individual writing processes?  

Central to my research is the premise that a corpus-informed pedagogy might foster metalinguistic awareness, empowering learners and thus promoting autonomy in their writing choices. Here, my goal is to investigate how corpus approaches can demystify academic discourse and provide access to the connections between lexicogrammatical structure and rhetorical purpose in a given genre. If a corpus-based pedagogy can provide instructors and students with the tools to both participate in and critique specific discourse patterns, then students might better grasp their agency as shapers of their respective discourse communities, encouraging genre innovation and the high-road transfer of genre awareness throughout their development as writers.

Research Keywords: Corpus Linguistics, Rhetorical Genre Studies, Writing in the Disciplines


  • The College of New Jersey, M.A. in English
  • The College of New Jersey, B.A. in English & Philosophy