Introduction to Research Methods helps students learn about the basic research methodologies in Rhetoric and Composition. Students will study practical methods for conducting research in the discipline. Methods will include ethnographic research methods, case studies, qualitative literacy research, discourse studies in composition, and archival research. Students will have the opportunity to begin mapping out research questions that they may later address in the Graduate Research class.
- RWDMS courses provide you with many opportunities to show your skills as a reader, thinker, and writer. In this course, your work will include the following components:
- Critical and analytical reading of disciplinary texts
- Discussion boards: deepening understanding of readings by exchanging ideas with peers
- 5 short research-methodology-based papers (3-5 pages) on topics discussed in class
- Mapping out a Project: Research methodologies. (This will include the proposal including methodologies, a literature review, and a cover letter addressing the mapped project
All courses in the RWDMS program encourage you to learn specific skills in the areas of theory and knowledge, analysis and critical thinking, and research and application. When you complete your coursework, consider especially how you were able to achieve the following learning outcomes:
Theory and Knowledge
- You will demonstrate an understanding of the research methodologies applicable in the field of rhetoric and writing studies.
- Evaluate and reflect critically on rhetorical terms and concepts used by rhetoricians from classical to modern times.
- Understand how language practices during specific time periods were and are used to communicate about the diversity of human experience.
- Research, evaluate, and apply rhetorical principles from classical to modern times for academic, professional and public discourse.
- You will demonstrate an understanding of research methodologies and writing skills applicable to English studies, including academic writing, workplace writing, and information development.
- Evaluate and reflect critically on methodological practices and concepts used in research designs in rhetoric, writing, and digital media studies.
- Understand research as a recursive process.
- Use research data to formulate or evaluate new research questions, using reason and persuasion in a logical argument.
- Summarize and evaluate a body of research, including primary and secondary sources.Demonstrate competent, ethical, and responsible use of information in academic and workplace writing.
Analysis and Critical Thinking
- You will critically analyze how cultural artifacts (written, digital, visual, and spoken texts) are used to shape identity in diverse local, national, historical, and global communities.
- Research, evaluate, and apply knowledge of significant issues related to global learning, diversity, and sustainable educational and environmental practices.
- Write critical analyses exploring key texts and key concepts about historical and current rhetorical terms and concepts.
- Research, evaluate, and apply historical knowledge of rhetorical terms and concepts to show how contemporary language use is influenced by cultural knowledge.
- Research, evaluate, and apply rhetorical principles from classical to modern times to ethnically and linguistically diverse populations.
- You will synthesize and evaluate research, scholarship, and methodologies and create projects that question current norms and dominant cultural assumptions.
- Design text and digital projects that show the ethical use of language in diverse academic, public, and professional communities.
- Understand how cultural, racial, ethnic, gender, and economic factors influence communication practices in text and digital environments.
- Design and present projects that show a clear understanding of purpose, audience, and cultural, social, historical, and political contexts.
- You will demonstrate an understanding of research methodologies by carrying out course-related and client-related projects directed at conceptualizing, understanding, and reformulating current theories in the larger field of rhetoric and writing studies.
- Articulate a theoretical framework for the project (including a literature review to assess the theoretical and methodological contributions previously made to this area).
- Identify and define appropriate methods of data collection and apply appropriate research methods.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the project and its implications to the field of rhetoric, writing, and digital media through peer and self-evaluation.
- Apply appropriate writing and design standards and literacy skills to succeed in academic, civic, and personal life.
- Actively participate in local, national, and global communities of academic and workplace writers by participating in professional development activities, and by creating and updating online profiles.
- Effectively represent your experience, skills and competencies through written (resume, cover letter, social media, application materials) and verbal (interview skills, presentation skills, etc.) communication.
- Develop your project management skills.