Good morning. Thank you for coming to this session. It will be short and hopefully sweet. Some of the ideas come from my background in writing – some from my PhD interest and others have sprung from an Advanced Qualitative Methods course that I am just finishing. I wrote a paper on how people in different disciplines write up qualitative papers. I would like to share a couple points on writing in interdisciplinary studies and throw out some questions for you to take with you. This is not going to be a “here is the answer” kind of session. Rather, it will be a “gee, I have to think about that” one. How will I write up this work?
UnderstandingResearch Genres Building interdisciplinary bridges Margie Clow Bohan Dalhousie University April 10, 2008
Background My interest mixed-presence, inter-professional teams working through genres Informing disciplines Writing Studies Organizational Behaviour of interest: Computer Science (mixed-presence support), Sociology (interaction), Qualitative methods research My job? I run the Writing Centre – so the weight of production is felt
So ... How do I take the information (interests, theories, methods, etc.), use them to understand more fully my interest, and then contribute to the field? Which field? Who will care? Who will see this work as valid? Who will publish it? Build a bridge
Cautions…about bridgesDon t cross the bridge until you have figured thefollowing things out: You have to know where you are standing. You have to know what is on the other side. You have to know if the bridge can support your weight. You have to know what is in the river – just in case. You have to know where you want to go – maybe the people with whom you want to visit live somewhere else – you don t need this particular bridge at all. Think before you cross.
You’ve figured out that this is the right bridge… now what? In terms of writing – Review the literature from each field. Look at individual journals – editorial guidelines. How are these scholars writing? Interests (in people such as users, in events, in processes such as systems, in policies, in theories or practical applications) Perspectives (qualitative, quantitative, mixed, blended, innovative – theoretical imperatives (all the isms) Methods (what methods does the field or journal find credible?)
Continued… Length of work (3-5 pages or 35 pages) Components (if any, sections , headings, abstracts, etc) Style Considerations What is included in each section? How is material attributed and to what extent? What kind of writing is used (formal, less formal, detailed or concise)? Do they use ideas from other disciplines? How do they convince the reader that what they say is correct? On what note do they end? What do they include as supporting materials?
Big Question How open is the field to interdisciplinary interests and questions? Don’t combine physics and rhetoric & composition and think that physics journals with publish on the writing preferences of physicists. However, education and composition journals will.
Possibility? [G]raduate writing groups across the curriculum make it possible for graduate writers to become rhetorically-savvy writers and readers both within and without their disciplinary discourses.Gradin,S., Pauley-Gose, J., & Stewart, C. (2006). Disciplinary Differences, Rhetorical Resonances: Graduate Writing Groups Beyond the Humanities Models for Interdisciplinary Writing Groups at Ohio University Writing Center Praxis: A Writing Center Journal