Lesson 18

Announcements and Logistics

Researching writing and communication

Experimental Process research:
Design an experiment to test how people compose or communicate under specific conditions. Use the results of your experiment to make recommendations about how writing should be taught better.

Ethnographic process research:
Identify one or more writing contexts that are substantially different (an English class versus a chemistry lab) and compare the approach to writing used in each context. Collect sample texts, develop a method for analyzing and comparing them, and make a hypothesis about what's going on.

Textual research:
Pick two publication venues from two different disciplines; do a comparative study of the genres they use in some specific way. I.e. how are introductions composed in an engineering journal versus a social science journal?

Finer points of style

Shaping your reports for your reader

Warning One: Organizing your report

  • Introduction vs Methods
  • Title and front matter
  • Back matter and appendices

Warning Two: Data dumping

  • Your reader (me) is not interested in wading through your interview transcripts or the answers you received from email questionnaires
  • Condense your data and interpret it for your reader
  • Don't "leave it up to the reader" to figure out

Composing your Abstract or executive summary

Group work time: Finalizing the Midterm

For Next Time


  • TWC ch 15, "Working in Teams"


  • Finalize and revise midterm reports
    • Please make sure you follow the style sheet and double-check against the assignment sheet. Both are on the class-by-class schedule
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