Understanding research genres


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  • 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?
  • Understanding research genres

    1. 1. UnderstandingResearch Genres Building interdisciplinary bridges Margie Clow Bohan Dalhousie University April 10, 2008
    2. 2. 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
    3. 3. 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
    4. 4. 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.
    5. 5. 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?)
    6. 6. 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?
    7. 7. 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.
    8. 8. 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