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ENGL 105 - Lachmayr: Academic Research as Conversation

Academic Research as Conversation

Academic research as conversation: Just as in face-to-face conversations, academic research or scholarship involves a give and take, point and counterpoint, and building upon of ideas, perspectives, interpretations, insights, discoveries, and inventions. However, unlike face-to-face conversations that happen in real time and generate instant responses, scholarly conversations happen over a long period of time. The conversations develop slowly as researchers gather and analyze information, interpret their findings, and go through the lengthy publishing process. 

Remember, your college-level research papers and essays are ways in which you explore and enter these conversations! You become a contributor to ongoing conversation related to your research topic.


Joining the conversation?

How do you join the conversation?

  • Read up on the subject you are interested in exploring
  • Determine the arguments presented to you
  • Recognize you are entering into an ongoing scholarly conversation and not a finished conversation
  • Recognize the influence of other voices on the argument
  • Suspend judgment on an argument until the larger context for the scholarly conversation is better understood
  • Recognize that systems privilege authorities and that not having a fluency in the language and process of a discipline disempowers their ability to participate and engage
  • Add your voice to the conversation!
    • What conclusions have you drawn? What questions haven’t been answered? Whose voices are silenced/ignored? 

Research as conversation