My Research Approach: Selfish Interests
“Be selfish with your research,”
Dr. Kleine encouraged our class as he shared the details for an upcoming research assignment in Language Theory. Indeed, the freedom to pursue my own research interests has been one of my favorite things about the MA program in Professional and Technical Writing at UALR.
Some of the most memorable research interests I’ve pursued during my time in the program include a science writing manuscript on crunchy moms, a ceremonial discourse piece featuring an interview with my uncle who practices a lifestyle of selfless giving, a Prezi created to investigate the roots of English profanity, and a video tutorial I produced to help Writing Center clients find articles using the Ottenheimer library database. It’s been a great run, exploring my research interests and tinkering with new methods and skills to draw the data together into a meaningful, persuasive narrative.
Not only has this program taught me how to ethically and effectively conduct primary research and secondary research, but it has taught me how to frame coherent, appropriately-limited research questions and use sophisticated electronic research tools, such as the Ottenheimer library database, to find information.
Connection to Course Work
To demonstrate my ability to use theory as a framework to locate, analyze, assess, and synthesize scholarly research to build an argument, I’ve chosen to share a large-scale, formal research paper that compares the language variety of American Christians to the language of Jesus. To demonstrate my ability to ethically conduct primary, ethnographic research and compile results to draw reasonable conclusions, I've chosen to share conference presentation materials developed from a collaborative writing center research endeavor, which explored how Writing Center interns can overcome their reluctance to conference with each other.
Language Theory: a course which emphasizes research and theory concerning acquisition and nature of functional language competence, including oral and written language and the movement from oral to written discourse.