As the title suggests, this course will involve inquiring into and discussing ideas in the academe. Sounds easy, right?
Unfortunately, that's a sentiment not shared by most students who've taken the course. Like them, you might complain about how the research process can be tedious — from formulating the research problem and objectives, to sourcing and documenting references, to collating and analyzing data, AND (perhaps the hardest part for most students) to writing the research report.
You'll find it hard to believe that research and academic writing can be easy and fun. But if you think about how Zora Neale Hurston defines research as "formalized curiosity," then you might begin to see the pleasure it may bring. Hurston elaborates on her definition by saying: "It is poking and prying with a purpose" (Troyka 537). I prefer this definition rather than the grim-sounding "the making and revising of knowledge" (Rosen and Behrens 542).
You may also look at research and academic writing like having a chat with others (including the authors of books and journal articles) studying the same thing you are investigating: you contribute your opinions and have your opinions changed as you engage in a conversation with other scholars.
You can begin this chat by thinking of a topic, in your field of study, that interests you. Something that has intrigued you for some time, or something that you have been puzzling about. You can start your exploration by looking for the entry about your topic in an encyclopedia. Take note of how the author/s (if provided) of that entry discuss/es the topic. Take note, too, of an idea or ideas that interested the most and would like to investigate some more.
You can then write a report about your exploration by discussing what interested you about this particular topic, what and how the encyclopedia entry discussed about the topic, and what information discussed in the source you would like to explore some more. You can submit your report and a copy of your source through the form below. ✍
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