Wen Xin

Photo of Wen Xin
  • Assistant Teaching Professor

Contact Info

Wescoe 3032


I have taught a wide range of courses in both English Language Studies and Rhetoric and Composition. In all the courses, I develop an understanding in students that language is not about what is “right” or “wrong” but more about what is appropriate in a context. I also guide students to analyze how and why language variations occur in different contexts, particularly the academic context, where students are often involved. In addition, I cultivate students’ critical language awareness, with which students understand when and why language is used to empower them, but more importantly, when and why language is used against them.

My research lies at the intersection of English Language Studies and Rhetoric and Composition. I focus primarily on the use of pragmatic features, such as metadiscourse, stance, and hedges, and variations of those features in writing classrooms with a goal of cultivating a better work environment for writing instructors as well as helping students become better writers. To pursue my research, I often draw upon a variety of methods, techniques, and algorithms from statistics, data mining, and natural language processing.  


Pragmatics; Metadiscourse; Corpus Linguistics; Sociolinguistics; Responses to Student Writing; Genre Studies (Rhetorical Genre Studies and English for Academic Purposes Genre Studies); Digital Humanities; Text Mining


Introduction to the English Language; English Grammar; Language and Social Justice; Sociolinguistics; The Development of Modern English; Corpus Linguistics; Rhetorical Grammar; Quantitative Research Methods; Programming for Digital Humanities; Text Analytics and Visualization

Selected Publications

“A Corpus Study on Written Comments by Nonnative English-Speaking and Native English-Speaking Teachers of First-Year Composition.” Nonnative English Speaking Teachers of Writing. Eds. Mariya Tseptsura and Todd Ruecker. WAC Clearinghouse. (forthcoming)

“The ‘u’ and ‘v’ Alternation in the History of English: Spelling Dynamics in the Handwritten Legal Documents from the Salem Witch Trials (1692).” American Speech 96.2 (2021): 127-160. Co-authored with Peter Grund, Matti Peikola, and Johanna Rastas.