Wadsworth Guide to Research Summary
The Wadsworth Guide to Research book is separated into four parts. They are: Preparing for Research, Conducting Research, Reporting on Research, and lastly Formatting Your Research and further broken down into 15 chapters within these four parts.
Part 1: Preparing for Research
In preparing for research a student should consider how contextual factors will influence their research. These can include the topic, purpose, audience, and the author based on a rhetorical situation. By considering these elements you let the rhetorical situation influence how you research and the conclusions that you draw from your research. The rhetorical situation has four parts: purpose, audience, topic, and author. All four of these parts intertwine with each other, they all influence each other. In knowing the rhetorical situation for your research it will help you answer your question most effectively. For example you research might be something you, the author are interested in finding out the answer to. But the audience of your research might have a different reason for wanting to see your research. This can influence the type of questions you ask during your researching. The book goes on to talk about the myths about research. They include: You must complete each step in the writing process, each step is equally important and time-consuming, and the steps are linear. These are not true at all! The steps of the writing process are: prewriting, researching, drafting, peer reviewing, revising, editing, proofreading, and publishing. You may spend the most time on researching and little time on revising or proofreading. Or you may skip a step all together. You can also skip around the steps, go back if necessary. Preparing for research requires you to analyze the situation. Anytime you find yourself in a situation where communication is necessary you are in a kairotic moment. Kairos moments inspire you to write, and their elements are present in both time and space. You can use these moments and apply kairos in your rhetorical situation.
Part 2: Conducting Research
When you begin to research you should first determine what you already know about the topic, decide what kind of information you need to find out about your topic, research specific things about your topic, and make a plan as to where you will look for that information. When you identify the type of information you need to research you’ll need to decide whether to conduct primary research or to use secondary sources. Primary research means going directly to the source for your answer. Secondary resources are by someone other than your primary focus. There are three different types of resources. Static resources usually do not change after they have been published, such as books, paintings, or films. Syndicated resources are under the same general title but are released over time. Such as magazines, TV shows, and blogs. Dynamic resources never get published in a final form and are always changing. Examples include: live plays, wikis, and field research. If you choose to include primary research in your plan you can conduct observations and interviews with your subject. Another method of research is to conduct a survey. When you conduct a survey you will need to decide the group you will use, write the questions, and decide what you need to know from the participants. You also need to make sure to get permission to conduct your survey, either from the board at your school or for each individual person. This could be done by just including a letter to the student who is taking the survey. A very important thing to keep in mind when writing a research paper is plagiarism. There are two kinds of plagiarism. Blatant plagiarism is when a person copies part of a resource and submits it as their own work. The second is careless plagiarism, which is when a person copies information and mistakes it for common knowledge. When you need...
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