An Empirical Research Project in English and Writing Studies

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Joyce Kinkead


English majors generally are adept at literary criticism but tend to have less experience in conducting empirical research that draws on both qualitative and quantitative methods and engages human participants. To introduce those methods to students and to satisfy a university requirement for quantitative instruction applied to the discipline, I developed a course called Approaches to Research in English Studies. The students complete individual IRB-approved projects that result in a research report, a poster, and a lightning talk. Before undertaking the individual projects, the students engage in a whole-class research project that models the process, and this latter assignment is described here in this essay.

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