Brand New Writing Course on Inquiry, Research, and Writing Across the Disciplines

10/23/2013

Contributed by Mary Lourdes Silva

Want to advance your research skills and writing skills? This Spring, the Writing department is offering a new course titled "Inquiry, Research, and Writing Across the Disciplines"--WRTG 21700. In this course, students will learn what it means to think, communicate, and write like a researcher in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences.

Is research important to your major? If you plan on working in the Communications field, you'll be expected to select and evaluate a variety of sources and conduct primary research. In the Sciences and Social Sciences, students have to know how to write a comprehensive annotated bibliography and literature review. In small non-profit organizations or start-up businesses, employees or entrepreneurs may volunteer their efforts to write grants to fund projects, which require extensive research of a social/economic problem or a target audience.  Most importantly, nearly all fields will expect its researchers to be technologically adept at using search engines and databases and managing digital source information.

More specifically, in this class, students will learn the distinctions between deductive and inductive research; apply a theory within a local context and collect evidence to support, challenge, or elaborate on that theory; learn and apply common research methodologies like ethnographic observation, survey design, and interview methods; and understand the advantages and limitations to common search engines and databases (e.g., Google Scholar and library website). Last, students will learn to write effectively a research proposal, annotated bibliography, literature review, and references page in APA, MLA, or Chicago style.

The only prerequisite for this course is Academic Writing 10600. If you're a freshman, then this course counts as a Writing Intensive course. In other words, it meets one of your graduation requirements.  If you're not a freshman, this course may fulfill graduation requirements by departments mandating a second writing course for graduation. If you would like further information about the course, contact me at msilva@ithaca.edu.

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