Disciplinary knowledge, then, is more than the sum of separate inquiries in discrete areas of knowledge. It is part of a historically specific body of knowledge, an episteme, that contains premises, presumptions, and practices that work together to hide the workings of racialized power.
(Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, Luke Charles Harris, Daniel Martinez HoSang, and George Lipsitz, 2019, p. 11)

COURSE TITLE: ENC 6720: Studies in Composition Research


This course will introduce you to the idea of research as inquiry and as a knowledge making enterprise. By examining a variety of research methodologies, methods, and practices, we’ll learn how researchers develop an idea, plan a research project, go about gathering data (whatever “data” may be), perform analysis and present their work. In short, we will be investigating how researchers create knowledge.

The course builds on the assumption that research is connected to context, and what information is included/excluded and how that information is interpreted/discussed impacts the reception of the research. Throughout the course, our central questions will be

  • What constitutes a good research question/problem?
  • What are some of the fundamental assumptions underlying research methodologies?
  • What are types and kinds of research methods available and which ones are best for different types of questions?
  • How do I maintain research ethics?
  • What do I do when a plan goes all wrong and other questions around research practice?

And throughout the term as we work through these general questions, we will consistently ask

  • Who is left out? what is the ramification of that absence for the knowledge you hoping to create? for the field? for practice?
  • What is at stake in regards to power, structures, policies, practices?
  • How can I/we ensure that we are enacting a sense of research justice within our methodologies, methods, and practices?

Finally, we will also focus on exposing the hidden curriculum of research, that is answering questions about the nuts and bolts that often times people think you should already know. When you finish the course, you will be a more confident, inclusive and just researcher and writer.

Calm dow batman, if we knew what we were doing it wouldn't be called research.