One page schedule


January 12, 2023

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 11 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 19, 2023

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:

    • be prepared to share your visual summary, especially in how it may complement or contradict my interpretation of this exercise
    • Due: Explain Assignment
      • discussion of what you learned
      • strategies for reading and note taking
    • discussion of paradigms and types of research

January 26, 2023

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

Read for Class:

Do for class:

In class:

February 2, 2023

Topic: Study design: formulating research questions

Practice: reflective memoing and other forms of note taking

Do for class:

  • Post an article in our shared google document that you are drawn to as a scholar/teacher along with the author(s) research question and a short summary of how well you think they answered their question and why. Be prepared to provide support for your summary of well the article worked. (In other words, you need to read this piece carefully so we have some things to talk about.)
  • Write down a question or a series of questions related to your in-progress idea for your research project for this class (or another class). After you have the questions written think through–even if you can’t find the words for it fully–what questions or concerns you have about your questions and ways to revise them to make them researchable. Be prepared to discuss your general idea so that we can work through how to move from big question to 

In class:

February 9, 2023

Study design: literature reviews

**note: this week you have to read alot. PLEASE plan accordingly. The next few weeks of the course will be something of a messy disaster if you don’t do the reading for this week.

Please read only the literature review sections. Our goal 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 3 articles or book chapters from edited collections (do not use a chapter from a monograph for this exercise) 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 and that go together in relation to a common topic or idea that you are presently working toward (for this class or your life). You will need to read these pieces closely. [note: these same three that you are posting about should be included in the larger set of articles and book chapters (~8 to15 ish) that are in the schedule for next week and will lead into your literature review assignment]
  • read the abstracts ONLY for the articles from our classroom example and lit review exercise

In class:

  • discussion of literature reviews
    • exercise on lit reviews
  • working with our classroom example
  • answering questions about where we are and what we’re doing


February 16, 2023

Study design: theory
Practice: positionality

Read for Class:

theory sort of

  • 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)
  • Scott, J. B., & Gouge, C. (2019). Theory 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 Utah State University Press. (skim this one)


  • Liboiron, M. (2021). Pollution is colonialism. Duke University Press. skim the footnotes only.
  • Sanchez, J.C. (2021). Salt of the earth: Rhetoric, preservation and white supremacy. SWR, NCTE. Intro
  • (SKIM) Sybing, R. (2022). Dead Reckoning: A Framework for Analyzing Positionality Statements in Ethnographic Research Reporting. Written Communication, 39(4), 757-789.
  • excerpt from the politics and ethics of representation
Do for class:
  • 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, particularly in light of one of your articles/book chapters you are using for your literature review assignment.
  • begin to draft your own positionality statement. This is something for You and will not be shared (unless you want to specifically talk about yours). Then consider how your draft works with or against the materials I asked you to read. 

In class:

  • discussion of the role of theory in research
  • positionally of the researcher 
    • how does the impact the research practice and method
  • what do I know? how do I know it? 

February 23, 2023

Methods: textual/rhetorical and surveys

Read for Class:

  • 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)
  • 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.)
  • 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 entry on textual research in the The SAGE Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods (available through the library database)
  • read the entry on rhetorical method in The Sage Encyclopedia of COMMUNICATION Research (available through the library database)
Do for class:
In class: 
  • discussions of surveys in scholarship
    • discussion of when and how to use surveys effectively
  • discussion of textual and rhetorical analysis as method
  • final questions on illustrate assignment: lit review due 3-9

March 2, 2023

Methods: ethnography or observational
Methods: interviews or focus groups

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)
  • LaFrance, M. (2019). Institutional ethnography : a theory of practice for writing studies researchers. Utah State University Press. Skim introSkim intro.
  • read the entry on focus groups in the The SAGE Encyclopedia of COMMUNICATION Research Methods (available through the library database)
  • read the entries on interviewing and interview guide  in the The SAGE Encyclopedia of Qualitative Research Methods (available through the library database)
Do for class:
In class:
  • discussion of interviews and focus groups
  • discussion of observational methods
  • visual exercise with your lit review materials; reminder lit review assignment due next week

March 9, 2023

Methods: experiments & quasi-experiments
Study Design: methodological frameworks

Skim for Class:

  • Lam, C., & Wolfe, J. (2022). An Introduction to Quasi-Experimental Research for Technical and Professional Communication Instructors. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 0(0).
  • 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.
Do for class:
  • consider how might we design a quasi-experimental study to help answer our questions or concerns with either one of our classroom examples
  • what methodological frameworks and methods were in your articles; a visual exercise; 

In class:

  • discuss the Lam & Wolfe reading in relation to our ongoing classroom example ;
  • sharing of your visual exercise results that looks at relationships in methodological frameworks from your corpus of articles
  • debrief lit review assignment

DUE: Illustrate Assignment: Lit Review

March 16, 2023 – Spring Break

you should be breaking. 🙂

March 23, 2023

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

Read for Class:

  • the program book
  • 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. Chapter 1
  • return to our classroom example and the methodology section of the forthcoming article 
  • 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:
  • Bring questions related to writing up research for academic audiences, particularly as it relates to your own projects. For example, what problems are you having?
  • Bring to class several questions you have about and sampling.
In class

March 30, 2023

Study Design: ethics and citation
Study Design: trustworthiness, rigor, reliability, validity

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.
  • politics of citation be certain to at least skim some of the links at the bottom
  • pick an organization that means something to you and read their ethics statement (if they have one)
  • 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:
  • bring to class your own definition of ethics
  • 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; be prepared to discuss the organization’s statement you chose
    • consideration of researcher stance and ethics particularly in regards to the politics of citation
    • method as ethic??
  • questions in general about research study design, positionality, citations, and ethics

Due: Demonstrate assignment


April 6, 2023

Study design: thinking through data; analyzing datar
Practice: writing up research

Read for Class:
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
  • looking at our classroom example and the data (again)
  • discussion of articles and your current understanding of methodologies, methods, and practices

April 13, 2023

practice: adapting during research
practice: coding strategies

Read for Class:
  • 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 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 adapting work in relation to our classroom example??
In class:
  • discussion of the readings

April 20, 2023

Do for class:
  • flip through the course website and all the memes I have posted throughout. Pick one to talk about in class, i.e., to explain its cultural meaning in light of what you know about research. 
In class:
  • AMA on research and debriefs of your projects

Due: Create Assignment

April 27, 2023

Final synthetic moves

Read for Class:

Do for class:
    • 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?  
    • think through some key takeaways because we’ll be talking about them together

In class:

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