Document Type


Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

English language--Study and teaching, Social media


English Language and Literature


While composition studies researchers have examined the ways social media are impacting our lives inside and outside of the classroom, less attention has been given to the ways in which social media—specifically Social Network Sites (SNSs)—may enhance our own research methods and methodologies by helping to combat research participant attrition and build a community around a research project. In this article, we share some of the successes and shortfalls of using SNSs for research purposes, based on our own experiences using Facebook in the context of our writing program’s Longitudinal Study of Student Writers. Specifically, we present five considerations related to the integration of Facebook for research—Building a Community, Sharing Study Data, Constructing Identity, Understanding Analytics, and Conducting Usability Testing—and we discuss how these methods can be extended to other SNSs.


© Copyright 2016 Jenna Pack Sheffield and Amy C. Kimme Hea. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License. (CC-BY-SA 4.0)

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License.

Publisher Citation

Sheffield, J. P., Kimme Hea, A. C. (2016). Leveraging the Methodological Affordances of Facebook: A Model of Social Networking Strategy in Longitudinal Writing Research. Composition Forum, 33(Spring 2016). Web.



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