Eng 686: Research Projects

The research project helps students develop independent research and work skills. The activities in this course are designed to answer a question or solve a problem and generally reflect the types of learning and work people do in the everyday world outside the classroom. In essence, students will create a project that engages them in learning essential knowledge and life-enhancing skills through an extended, student-influenced inquiry process structured around complex, authentic questions and carefully designed products and tasks. Students will move through an inquiry process that stimulates their thinking, engages them in authentic tasks, and demands demonstration of mastery.

writing

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 reading and analysis of disciplinary texts
  • Discussion boards: deepening understanding of readings by exchanging ideas with peers
  • Digital Professional Portfolio. This will include a cover letter (for job application), a professional presence on LinkedIn or other relevant digital sites, and a resume
  • Final Project. (This includes a proposal including methodologies, a progress report, a literature review that supports final project, and the final project with a cover letter)
  • Final Paper integrating theory and methodology that supports the final project
  • Presentation of Final project

Time to Learn

This is the culminating experience of your coursework and should be taken towards the end of your M.A. program. When you complete your coursework, consider especially how you were able to learn the overall skills in the areas of theory and knowledge, analysis and critical thinking, and research and application:
Theory and Knowledge
You will demonstrate an advanced 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.
  • Evaluate similarities and differences in the uses of language, the connections between organization and structure used in specific time periods, the connections between style and delivery, and the connections between persuasion and argumentation used in specific time periods.
  • Understand how language practices during specific time periods were and are used to communicate about the diversity of human experience.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the contributions of rhetoric to workplace studies, literacy studies, narrative studies, digital studies, cultural studies, gender studies, and race studies.
  • Research, evaluate, and apply rhetorical principles from classical to modern times for academic, professional and public discourse.
You will demonstrate an advanced 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 demonstrate an advanced understanding in the field of rhetoric and writing studies by critically analyzing 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.
  • Tailor your academic and professional work to a specific audience and focus your writing on a specific purpose.
You will demonstrate an advanced understanding in the field of rhetoric and writing studies by synthesizing and evaluating research, scholarship, and methodologies and creating advanced-level 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.
  • Research, evaluate, and apply rhetorical principles to question current norms and dominant cultural assumptions expressed in text and digital media.
  • Design and present text and media that addresses experiential learning.
  • Design and present projects that show a clear understanding of purpose, audience, and cultural, social, historical, and political contexts.
Application
You will demonstrate an advanced understanding of research methodologies related to rhetorical, pedagogical, narrative, new media, and workplace theories and practices 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.
  • Use a research design appropriate to the audience and purpose of your project, showing understanding of rhetorical approaches to multimedia design.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the project and its implications to the field of rhetoric, writing, and digital media through peer and self-evaluation.
  • Analyze, interpret and explain your findings and your project in an extensive project write-up.
  • Present your original research to professional and non-professional audiences, articulating sustained, coherent explanations of your work.
  • Apply appropriate writing and design standards and literacy skills to succeed in academic, civic, and personal life.
You will actively participate in local, national, and global communities by researching, evaluating, and applying knowledge of significant issues related to global learning, diversity, and sustainable educational and environmental practices through appropriate professional activities (conferences, publications, social action, grants, internships, practicum experiences, extended research projects, fieldwork, and other activities).
  • Identify your career and learning goals and develop a personal career development plan based on your strengths and goals.
  • 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.
  • Increase your experience and marketability, as well as your level of knowledge about career opportunities, through internships or projects.
  • Apply appropriate communication and presentation standards to succeed in academic, civic, and personal life.
  • Establish an online professional presence by designing, adding on a regular basis, and updating a digital portfolio.

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