I’m really excited by a project that the Writing Center is working on and that was previewed at today’s Teaching and Technology Conference. Keri Bertino and a student employee at the Writing Center have been editing a series of videotaped interviews they conducted with faculty members. In the interviews, the faculty members explain what research looks like in their discipline and talk about a specific exemplary work. Each faculty member answered a series of questions posed by the interviewers:
- Why do people write in your field?
- What kinds of questions are writers in your field trying to answer with their writing?
- What is the format or organization of a typical article in your field?
- What citation style does your field usually use?
- How is an argument usually introduced in writing in your field?
- How is that argument usually developed?
- What kind of evidence or research is used in your field?
- How is this evidence, research, or data used?
- How is previous scholarship and research used in writing in your field?
- How might a writer in your field address existing or potential conflicting theories or arguments?
- What kind of “voice” is appropriate to writing in your field?
- How might it be appropriate to insert the author’s point of view or experience into this writing?
- Are there any other characteristics or qualities of writing that seem typical of your field?
- What do you want a student to do and to learn when you ask them to write in your field?
- As they prepare to write, what questions should students ask themselves?
- What difficulties did you first encounter when writing in this field?
Once the videos are edited, they will be posted on the Writing Center website. I can imagine that these interviews could be really useful in our instructional efforts, as we try to help students understand what research really is in all its academic varieties. To give you a better sense of what this project is about, you may want to check out this teaser video made by Keri Bertino and her assistant in preparation for the presentation at today’s conference.
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A second video pulls together a sample of the responses that faculty gave to the questions and offers a nice preview of what the final videos will look like.
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