Research 101: Scholarship Is A Conversation

October 7, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski

Welcome to Research 101: Scholarship is a Conversation. Published articles and dissertations form a discussion that involves critiques, arguments, and additions to our understanding of the world But, wait! What does that mean? Well, you know when you’re at a party and there are a lot of different conversations going on at once? In one corner, people might be discussing climate change and pollution. On the other side of the room some people are talking about the new electric car technology. You have heard both of these conversations and begin a new conversation that discusses the impact of technology in reducing pollution. This is what the scholarly conversation is. Its multiple people writing and publishing their ideas and hoping that others will pick up and use this information to form new conversations. Now, this party is really huge. There are a lot of conversations happening at once and not everyone agrees. in all of these situations, you’re just hearing a part of the story from a few voices. Any given piece of scholarly work does not represent the only, or even the majority, perspective on the issue at hand. A single source represents just the view and research of that author. Additionally, you’re entering the middle of the conversation, certainly not the end. When you are conducting research as a student it isn’t possible to read every article in a certain topic. However, you should read some articles to get a sense of the context for the research related to your topic. As you research, its necessary to evaluate the work of others, but also try to see yourself as a producer and a consumer of information. As a student, you can contribute to the scholarly conversation.