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January 14, 2021


Study design: what is research and defining terms 

Read for Class:
Do for class:
  • Answer the following questions and send me replies by Wednesday, January 13 at 5:00pm (so I have time to consider them before class on Thursday):

    • How would you define research? Research methodology? Research methods? research practice? 
    • In a short paragraph, tell me what research you have done as a student or on the job?
    • What is it that you want to learn about research? Any particular method, theoretical frame, or something different?

    Your answers need to have some thought and consideration but the writing need not be formal or overly involved, and I would prefer if you just did it off the cuff, out of your own knowledge of this moment. I’m trying to get a better sense of you as student and your goals and to gain an understanding of what you may already know. Your answers can be contained in the body of an email or as an attachment.

    In class:

  • What is research and the research enterprise
  • Definitions of parts of research
    • research study design; methodology, methods, practices
  • how we’re going to go about doing things in this course 

January 21, 2021

Study design: paradigms
Practice: how to read research

Skim (really I mean skim) for class:

  • Johanek, C. (2000). Composing research: A contextualist paradigm for rhetoric and composition. Logan, UT: Utah State University Press. Chapter 2 (*.pdf)
  • Powell, K., & Takayoshi, P. (Eds.). (2012). Practicing research in writing studies: Reflexive and ethically responsible research. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press. Chapter 1 9 (*.pdf)
  • research methods from a communication perspective (*.pdf)
  • Smith, L. T. (2012). Decolonizing methodologies: Research and indigenous peoples (Second ed.). Zed Books. Intro (*.pdf)
  • Meloncon, L., & St.Amant, K. (2019). Empirical research in technical and professional communication:  A five-year examination of research methods and a call for research sustainability. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 49(2), 128-155. 

Do for class:

  1. complete your explain assignment
  2. do some google or quick library research on research paradigms
    • search around a bit to get a general sense of what you think is meant by research paradigms and what are some common ones discussed
    • settle on what you think some important ones are particularly in light of your skimming of the readings for this week
    • create a visual summary and save it (start the file with your last name) in the google folder

In class:

  • Due: Explain Assignment
    • discussion of what you learned
    • strategies for reading and note taking
  • discussion of paradigms and types of research

January 28, 2021

Study design: formulating research questions
Practice: reflective memoing and other forms of note taking

Read for Class:

Do for class:

In class:

February 4, 2021

Study design: literature reviews

Read for Class:

**note: you have 13 articles to skim this week. The most important are the three here and the ones for the cliter review exercise. The ones for your own research can take a back seat based on your other workload cause that part of the work is feeding into your literature review assignment

  • For different lit reviews, please read only the literature review sections. You are welcome to the skim the rest, but our goal here is to see the different types of lit reviews.
    • limited: Gubala, C., Larson, K., & Melonçon, L. (2020). Do writing errors bother professionals? An analysis of the most bothersome errors and how the writer’s ethos is affected. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 34(3), 250-286.
    • thematic: Melonçon, L., Mechenbier, M., & Wilson, L. (2020). Introduction to ‘A National Snapshot of the Material Working Conditions of Contingent Faculty in Composition and Technical and Professional Communication.’. Academic Labor: Research and Artistry, 4(1), 6-26.
    • trends & similarities/differences: Clegg, G., Lauer, J., Phelps, J., & Melonçon, L. (2021). Programmatic Outcomes in Undergraduate Technical and Professional Communication Programs. Technical Communication Quarterly, 30(1),19-33. 
  • Skim the resources on the Lit Review blog

Do for class:

  • Find three articles or book chapters from edited collections (do not use a chapter form a monograph for this exercise) that do different types of literature reviews and post them to our shared google drive. As always, make sure you are finding articles or book chapters that directly relate to your own work or who you are as a teacher/scholar. You will need to read these three pieces closely, and I would recommend that ALL go together in relation to a common topic or idea that you are presently working on. In addition to the three that you will post for their types of lit reviews, you need two others. So you’re finding 5 pieces and reading them; posting about three of them. 
  • skim the articles for our classroom example and do the two tasks
  • circle back and add questions re; our classroom example

In class:

February 11, 2021

Methods: textual/rhetorical 
Study design: theory
Practice: data storage and management

Read for Class:
  • from Powell, K., & Takayoshi, P. (Eds.). (2012). Practicing research in writing studies: Reflexive and ethically responsible research. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Press. Chapter 5 (read this one)
  • Grabill, Jeff. (2006). The study of writing in the social factory: Methodology and rhetorical agency. In J. Blake Scott, Bernadette Longo, & Katherine V. Wills (Eds.), Critical Power tools: Technical communication and cultural studies (pp. 151-170). Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. (scan)
  • Schriver, K. (1989). Theory building in rhetoric and composition: The role of empirical scholarship. Rhetoric Review, 7(2), 272-288. (skim)
  • Scott, J. B., & Gouge, C. (2019). Theory Building in the Rhetoric of Health & Medicine. In A. Aldren, K. Gerdes, J. Holiday, & R. Skinnell (Eds.), Reinventing (with) Theory in Rhetoric and Writing Studies: Essays in Honor of Sharon Crowley (pp. 181-195). University press of Colorado and Utath State University Press. (skim)
  • Collins, C. S., & Stockton, C. M. (2018). The Central Role of Theory in Qualitative Research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 17(1). 
Do for class:
  • please write down what you know about rhetorical or textual methods 
  • in your chosen field, sub-field, area, please post an article or book chapter using a textual method or rhetorical analysis. 
  • think through based on our discussion of methodologies and paradigms what you think the role of theory is in research; be prepared to talk about this

In class:

  • discussion of the articles 
    • role of theory in research
  • what is textual and rhetorical research
  • discuss research questions generated and connect to the idea of literature reviews and methods
  • data management and storage

Due: Differentiate Assignment, 2-11-21


February 18, 2021

Methods: interviews & focus groups
Practice: coding and tools for research

Read for Class:
  • Saldana, J. (2009). The coding manual for qualitative researchers. London: Sage. (skim through the first few chapters.)
  • Geisler, C. (2018). Coding for complexity: The interplay among methodological commitments, tools, and wrokflow in writing research. Written Communication, 35(2), 215-249. (skim through after Saldana)
  • Read this blog on saturation
  • Read interviewing and focus groups from the Sage Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research (available online through the library)
Do for class:
  • That is following are two different datasets that are compiled but need additional work, namely the consideration of how to code the information. The first is a thinking exercise. The second is a doing exercise.
    • big research question: how is TPC performing textual/rhetorical research? what questions are they asking?  This is the last part of the data (*.xlsx) from our 5-yr analysis of research in TPC. (We have the next five years of data too….but we are still stuck on how to move forward with coding). How would you even begin to code this data in ways that may shed light on approaches to textual or rhetorical research?
    • Read through the program outcomes and the project 3 description on research summary. Think about our classroom example and crafting research questions. Now download this excel fie that has data that comes from USF Writes (F2020 3250 only)for the collective feedback file related to the research summary assignment. Write down a specific coding scheme or potential scheme using the outcomes as your primary driver and how outcomes may align with issues of transfer from 1101/1102. You would be coding the qualitative instructor comments for the description and explanation. (Ask questions if you got them.)
In class:
  • discussion of interviews and focus groups as method
    • pros and cons specific to writing studies research
  • discussion of coding and the sample data sets
    • we will spend the bulk of our time going through the example so please spend some time with the data before class so we can use our time together generatively to answer questions and probe more deeply
  • tools and techniques for coding (relates to data management and storage)
  • answer any questions about lit review assignment

February 25, 2021

Methods: surveys
Study Design: sampling

Read for Class:

  • Erica Hall’s Stance on Surveys  (this is a medium article so its quick. There is also an embedded link at the top where you need to read it too.)
  • Expert advice from Survey Monkey
  • Skim these chapters from a book out of psychology on surveys. Truly skim. (access online through the library database. We have this as an ebook.)
    • Fowler, J., Floyd J., & Cosenza, C. (2008). Writing effective questions. In E. D. de Leeuw, J. J. Hox, & D. A. Dillman (Eds.), International handbook of survey methodology (pp. 136-160). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 
    • Manfreda, K. L., & Vehovar, V. (2008). Internet Surveys. In E. D. de Leeuw, J. J. Hox, & D. A. Dillman (Eds.), International handbook of survey methodology (pp. 265-284). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 
    • Schwarz, N., Knaiper, B., Oyserman, D., & Stuch, C. (2008). The psychology of asking questions. In E. D. de Leeuw, J. J. Hox, & D. A. Dillman (Eds.), International handbook of survey methodology (pp. 18-34). Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 
  • Rife, Martine Courant. (2013). Invention, copyright, and digital writing. Carbondale, Il: Southern Illinois University Press. (this is a number of parts of the book. Read the methodology and the part about surveys as rhetorical.)
  • read the entries on sampling (in general and a couple of the sampling techniques) from the Sage Encyclopedia for Quatlititve Research Methods (access through the library)
Do for class:
  • Find an article or book chapter that reports on a “survey” in your area and that aligns with who you are as a teacher/scholar. Post it with a short (< 100 words) response on whether you think it was done well. 
  • Bring to class several questions you have about surveys and sampling.
In class: 
  • discussions of surveys in scholarship
  • discussion of when and how to use surveys effectively
  • discussion of sampling
  • final questions on literature review assignment due next week

March 4, 2021

Methods: observational 
Study Design: positionally of researcher

Read for Class:

Skim all of these. 

  • read the entry on observational research in the The SAGE Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods (available through the library database)
  • Lillis, Theresa. (2008). Ethnography as method, methodology, and “deep theorizing”: Closing the gap between text and context in academic writing research. Written Communication, 25(3), 353-388.
  • Middleton, M. K., Senda-Cook, S., & Endres, D. (2011). Articulating Rhetorical Field Methods: Challenges and Tensions. Western Journal of Communication, 75(4), 386-406. 
  • Broad, B. (2013). Strategies and passions in empirical qualitative research. In Nickoson, L., & Sheridan, M. P. (Eds.). Writing Studies research in practice (pp.197-209). Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.(scan)
  • Bay, J. L. (2019). Research Justice as Reciprocity: Homegrown Research Methodologies. Community Literacy Journal, 14(1), 7-25. 
  • Jamieson, S. (2018). The evolution of the citation project: developing a pilot study from local to translocal. In T. Serviss & S. Jamieson (Eds.), Points of departure: Rethinking student source use and writing studies research methods. Utah State University Press. 
  • Fairhurst, G. T. (2014). Exploring the Back Alleys of Publishing Qualitative Organizational Communication Research. Management Communication Quarterly, 28(3), 432-439. 
Do for class:
  • Consider your own positionality and our ongoing discussions about the politics of citation and  attention to who is being left out (see questions on home page). Now, write (for your own use and nothing I will ask you to share) a researcher positionality statement. 
In class:
  • positionally of the researcher 
    • how does the impact the research practice and method
  • how do the readings today go together and how might they work with the ideas of the positionality fo the researcher from last week 
  • what do I know? how do I know it? 
  • discuss your literature review assignments and their relationship to your final projects

Due: Illustrate Assignment, 3-4-21

March 11, 2021

Methods: experiments & quasi-experiments
Study Design: methodological frameworks 
Practice: working with data

Read for Class:

  • Boettger, R. K., & Lam, C. (2013). An Overview of Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Research in Technical Communication Journals (1992&#x2013;2011). IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 56(4), 272-293.
  • Haswell, R. H. (2005). NCTE/CCCC’s Recent War on Scholarship. Written Communication, 22(2), 198-223.(skim)
  • Taylor, Todd. (2003). A methodology of our own. In Lynn Z. Bloom, Donald A. Daiker, & Edward M. White (Eds.), Composition studies in the new millennium: Rereading the past, rewriting the future (pp. 142-150). Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press.
  • three articles or book chapters of your choosing related to your final projects
Do for class:
  • write up a short summary of how you see a difference, or not, between methodological frameworks and theory 
  • what methodological frameworks and methods were in your articles. Post your findings here.
In class:

March 18, 2021

Study Design: ethics
Study Design: trustworthiness, rigor, reliability, validity
Practice: analyzing data

Read for Class:

  • Markham, A. N. (2018). Afterword: Ethics as Impact—Moving From Error-Avoidance and Concept-Driven Models to a Future-Oriented Approach. Social Media + Society, 4(3), 205630511878450.
  • Baldwinson, Lynch, the special section in 3.4: all in RHM (skim)
  • guidelines from AoIR and pick another organization with professional or academic (skim)
  • read the entries on trustworthiness and rigor via the library database  in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods
  • read the entry on reliability and validity via the library database  in The SAGE Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods
Do for class:
  • revise your. positionality research statement from a few weeks back with an ADDITIONAL section that addresses research ethics particularly when considering issues of power, structural racism, and inequalities (draw on the general readings and your own past readings to make this mini argument.) Be prepared with at least two unanswered questions that we can discuss. (Remember, this statement is for you and you do not have to share it.)
In class:
  • discussion of the readings
    • focus on what we think ethics are
    • consideration of researcher stance and ethics
    • method as ethic??
  • questions in general about research study design 
  • exercise with analyzing data with an eye to ethics and trustworthiness

March 25, 2021

Methods: methods presentations (seminar credit students)
Practice: writing method/ology sections

Read for Class:
  • Smagorinsky, P. (2008). The Method Section as Conceptual Epicenter in Constructing Social Science Research Reports. Written Communication, 25(3), 389-411.
  • Gries, L. E. (2013). Iconographic Tracking: A Digital Research Method for Visual Rhetoric and Circulation Studies. Computers and Composition, 30(4), 332-348. 
  • material work conditions and the program book
  • program outcomes
Do for class:
  • Return to your differentiate assignment: what would you change now? Anything? How has your understanding shifted or deepened (if at all)?
  • Bring questions related to writing up research for academic audiences
In class
  • presentations of methods from students who are doing doctoral seminar credits
  • discussion of articles as they related to writing up research; answering of questions

April 1, 2021

Study design: thinking through data
Practice: writing up research

Read for Class:
  • McNely, Brian. (2013). Spaces and surfaces of invention: A visual Ethnography of Game Development. Enculturation, 15.
  • Meloncon, L. and Schreiber, J. (2018). Advocating for Sustainability: A Report on and Critique of the Undergraduate Capstone Course. TCQ
  • Hsieh, H. F., & Shannon, S. E. (2005). Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qual Health Res, 15(9), 1277-1288
  • Charney, D. (2014). Editorial: Getting to “How Do You Know?” Rather Than “So What?” From “What’s New?”. Technical Communication Quarterly, 24(1), 105-108. 
Do for class:
  • consider why you think I had you read these articles together. Then move toward a series of questions that you still have remaining about research methodologies, methods, and practices. Be prepared to discuss in class.
In class:
  • Returning to our classroom example, we will look at some additional data and try to hone a research question into something fully researchable
  • discussion of articles and your current understanding of methodologies, methods, and practices

April 8, 2021

Practice: more on working with and analyzing data

Read for Class:
  • Markham, Annette N. (2013). Undermining ‘data’: A critical examination of a core term in scientific inquiry. First Monday, 18(10).
  • Gitelman, L. (2013). “Raw data” is an oxymoron. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press (scan the intro; skim chapter 1)
  • Driscoll, Kevin, & Walker, Shawn. (2014). Working within a black box: Transparency in the collection and production of big Twitter data. International Journal of Communication, 8, 1745-1764.
Do for class:
  • consider how the idea of big data and even just data can influence your research study design. Pose two questions/comments about what role data play in research.
  • how do ideas of big data or data in general work in relation to our classroom example??
In class:
  • discussion of the readings
  • AMA on research and your debriefs of your projects

Due: Create Assignment

April 15, 2021 -Enjoy Spring Break


April 22, 2021

Final synthetic moves

Read for Class:

Do for class:
    • complete your Demonstrate Assignment with an eye toward being able to discuss these terms in relation to your own projects and study designs
    • be prepared to talk about your projects in relation to some of the things that you’ve read this term; so this means you need to do some reflexive and reflection thinking as well as some synthesis work. How would you define your projects methodologically? Can you justify the method(s) and the practice of research? What ethical considerations did you have? What about the diagram and how it worked for your own projects and/or thinking?  

In class:

  • what you may be taking with you
  • if you had two minutes to explain what you feel are the most important aspects of research what would you say

Due: Demonstrate Assignment


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