RCH 7302, Doctoral Writing and Inquiry Into Research 1
Course Learning Outcomes for Unit II Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:
2. Analyze the text of an academic document using a variety of methods. 2.1 Analyze an academic journal article and its supporting argumentation.
3. Prepare an annotated bibliography using paraphrasing and summarization.
3.1 Practice summarizing and paraphrasing an academic article. 3.2 Interpret an article by annotating its contents.
Course/Unit Learning Outcomes
Unit Lesson Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Unit II Article Review Unit II Scholarly Activity
3.1 Unit II Scholarly Activity
3.2 Unit II Scholarly Activity
Required Unit Resources Chapter 3: From Writing Summaries and Paraphrases to Writing Yourself into Academic Conversations Chapter 4: From Identifying Claims to Analyzing Arguments
Unit Lesson Samuel Johnson (1709–1784), one of the first American literary critics, once said, “the greatest part of a writer’s time is present in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book” (as cited in Bui, 2020, p. 47). Extending this to a doctoral journey, the more a student reads, the more they will be able to research their own chosen topic. Researchers develop research based on previous research. By reviewing what others have studied, such as looking at perspectives or approaches relating to a particular topic or argument, particularly those who do not agree with one’s thinking or current positions, novice researchers can improve their own analysis and critical thinking skills (Barnet et al., 2020, p. iii). In all research, authors need to examine their previous approaches to the topic. This examination might include evaluating counterarguments, which exemplifies that writing an argument is a continuous process. Researchers want to avoid binary thinking: presuming that there are only two opposite approaches to an issue, argument, or position (Greene & Lidinsky, 2018). It is imperative to develop a system that is effective when reviewing the literature. Greene and Lidinsky (2018), Keshav (2015), and Rosenberg (2010) each share a similar though slightly different system for reviewing academic articles. Their discussion includes several ideas:
• Take notes on the article. (What stands out?)
• Ask questions. (What is not clear, or needs further explanation?)
• Read related articles. (This adds perspective for knowledge management.)
UNIT II STUDY GUIDE
Summaries, Paraphrasing, and Identifying Claims
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The association of reading to effective writing has been researched and discussed at multiples levels from grade school through graduate students working on dissertations (Grant, 2016; Kerr & Frese, 2017; Mateos et al., 2011; McCulloch, 2013; Yager, 2019). The differences between writing without sufficient reading and writing after extensive reading can be seen in a more pronounced and effective presentation of a position or argument. Often a novice researcher tries to find sources that agree with an already established belief or position. This approach robs the researcher of the opportunity to delve deeply into a topic and really understand alternative views, evaluate support, and review counterarguments. The Unit I discussion suggests that reading and research in the broadest sense is an absolute requirement for good writing and research. Unit I lists some areas where topics can be reviewed, gaps in knowledge might be found, and dissertation/research topics might be discovered. Unit I also suggests different ways to reach documents and peer-reviewed journal articles in the fields of interest. Extending on the reading in Unit I, this approach suggests broader and further reading to enhance the understanding in a field, or area of interest, or even a broader approach to reading initially to examine a topical area. Keshav (2015) discusses the value of cross reading, or reading in the same field and related fields, to build a stronger knowledge and perspective in the field of study. One source for topical research is to look at sources such as Annual Reviews or literature reviews in a topical area of interest.
Summaries and Paraphrasing In this unit’s reading, Greene and Lidinsky (2018) discuss the use of summaries and paraphrasing. These two techniques, once mastered, are important in the process of analyzing, understanding, and presenting the findings of researchers. Barnet et al. (2020) state that writing a summary helps to not only present an argument, but to initially understand it (p. 58). Keep in mind that when you incorporate a summary or a paraphrasing into an essay, the source should be acknowledged and a statement made that this is a summary or paraphrasing, as appropriate. Barnet et al. (2020) further suggest that patchwriting, overly paraphrasing, and summarizing sentence after sentence risks a charge of plagiarism even when the source is noted (p. 61). Academic writing also requires the inclusion of the researcher’s own thoughts added to the materials provided by authors on the topic, rather than just repeating what others have said without any analysis and original contribution. One of the side benefits of reading extensively is to learn not only how to write persuasively but to learn to write better grammatically while developing an extensive vocabulary. The entire process of communication can often be enhanced by further experience in understanding not only the process of communication but examples of effective communication by others (Gieselman, 1982). By reading, therefore, researchers (or future researchers) can become better writers, which leads to an increase in the quality of research.
Research For doctoral students, it is expected that peer-reviewed journals are the source of research articles. The Columbia Southern University Online Library provides many databases of peer-reviewed journals, and there are numerous libraries available outside of the university that could be helpful as well. A local college, or a school where you are an alum, or a local community library can all have databases for research and investigation. Doctoral students should also be aware of journals that have been characterized as predatory. Predatory Journals What is a predatory journal? A predatory journal is one that charges authors to publish their articles (Beall, 2017). Jeffrey Beall, a scholarly communications librarian at the University of Colorado Denver, created a list of potential predatory journals and publishers in 2008. The creation of this site was controversial, and in 2017, the website was pulled down (Straumsheim, 2017). Beall’s supervisor, Shea Swauger (2017), responded with a different perspective on predatory journals, which demonstrates that the position of one researcher should be evaluated with the positions of others. For the record, the Beall’s List website has been reestablished by an academic in the United Kingdom.https://beallslist.net/
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Academic Journals Doctoral students need to be aware of the quality of academic journals. Learning to critically analyze and read the research of others is a skill developed over time and with experience in research—it is never ending. Blogs, magazines, newspapers, professional association newsletters, professional services advertising, and news service information distributed online are not peer-reviewed; thus, these should be considered questionable academic sources. Wikis and online or print encyclopedias can be helpful to find sources, but the actual site/publication is not an appropriate source. If an internet source does not have an author or the author is questionable (not a recognized expert in the field), then the source should be questioned. It is up to the reader to determine this and thus be experienced and astute enough to recognize and identify the shortcomings (Greene & Lidinsky, 2018). Working at the doctoral level requires a deeper study into research methods, theoretical frameworks, and the areas of research. Taking a comprehensive approach allows the researcher to gain a greater understanding with the depth of knowledge in the field, develop a research approach to advance the field building on what has occurred previously, and set a research agenda for the present and future. The more invested the researcher is, the greater the potential for the study. There is a need for the researcher to be immersed in the field and their research approach; this happens through extensive, in-depth reading. Being able to read, digest, comprehend, and analyze previous studies as well as associated materials provides a greater spectrum and depth of knowledge in the given field for more intentional research and, thus, greater results. An academic researcher integrates their ideas into the information that has been acquired through other sources. As a researcher, a considerable amount of information from previous studies is utilized to develop the current study. The researcher assesses and analyzes the previous information, integrating their analysis of the previous research and other sources into the current study. The value of reading in the subject as well as related subjects provides cross functionality and multiple dimensions. Reading an academic article is different than other types of reading. As a researcher, reading academic and professional publications is a significant part of the process. Countless hours will be spent reading, reviewing, studying, and analyzing these articles. Developing an effective system that works for the individual researcher is highly recommended. The key principles and elements that are discussed is taking a multi-tier approach (Keshav, 2015; Meriam Library, 2019; Rosenberg 2010). Keshav (2015) describes a three-pass approach to assist in understanding core elements of an academic article.
• The first component is reviewing the basic elements of the article such as the abstract, introduction, headers, sub headers, and conclusion. The review should give an overview as to what the article is about. This is not intended to be the element that gives the greatest understanding, only to skim the article to gain a basic grasp regarding the contents of the article.
• The second component requires reading the article and taking notes. Ask questions as to what is being presented or discussed. Write down terms or concepts that are unclear or the context that is distorted. This is not about reading for results but to gain comprehensive understanding of the big picture regarding the article. At the end of components one and two, there will be a general understanding as to the article, what it has to offer, and how it fits into the purpose for which the researcher is reviewing literature.
• The third component is reading to re-implement the research. Understanding and applying the assumptions that are made in the article, as well as analyzing the process and results, will reinforce and strengthen not only the understanding but the assessment and analysis for synthesis and further evaluation of this article and also of other similar articles regarding the topic or related topics.
Using these three components will provide a solid foundation of an academic article. The researcher may not use this process every time they review an article, but if they are building the foundations for their study or developing a concept, using this approach is effective. Find the approach that works best, yielding the optimal results and making best use of time and resources.
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References Barnet, S., Bedau, H., & O’Hara, J. (2020). From critical thinking to argument: A portable guide (6th ed.).
Bedford/St. Martin’s. Beall, J. (2017). What I learned from predatory publishers. Biochemia Medica, 27(2), 273–278.
https://doi.org/10.11613/bm.2017.029 Bui, Y. N. (2020). How to write a master’s thesis (3rd ed.). SAGE. Gieselman, R. D. (1982). Reading, writing, and research: Pedagogical implications. International Journal of
Business Communication, 19(4), 23–38. https://doi.org/10.1177/002194368201900402 Grant, M. J. (2016). Learning to write through reading. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 33(4), 255–
256. https://doi.org/10.1111/hir.12166 Greene, S., & Lidinsky, A. (2018). From inquiry to academic writing: A practical guide (4th ed.). Bedford/St.
Martin’s. https://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781319071677 Kerr, M. M., & Frese, K. M. (2017). Reading to learn or learning to read? Engaging college students in course
readings. College Teaching, 65(1), 28–31. https://doi.org/10.1080/87567555.2016.1222577 Keshav, S. (2015). How to read a paper. Stanford University.
https://web.stanford.edu/class/ee384m/Handouts/HowtoReadPaper.pdf Mateos, M., Cuevas, I., Martín, E., Martín, A., Echeita, G., & Luna, M. (2011). Reading to write an
argumentation: The role of epistemological, reading and writing beliefs. Journal of Research in Reading, 34(3), 281–297. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9817.2010.01437.x
McCulloch, S. (2013). Investigating the reading-to-write processes and source use of L2 postgraduate
students in real-life academic tasks: An exploratory study. Journal of English for Academic Purposes, 12(2), 136–147. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2012.11.009
Meriam Library. (2019, May 1). What is a scholarly article and how do I find one? California State University,
Chico. https://libguides.csuchico.edu/c.php?g=462359&p=3163509 Rosenberg, K. (2010). Reading games: Strategies for reading scholarly sources. In C. Lowe & P. Zemliansky
(Eds.), Writing spaces: Readings on writing (Vol. 2, pp. 210–220). Parlor Press. Straumsheim, C. (2017, January 18). No more ‘Beall’s List.’ Inside Higher Education.
Swauger, S. (2017). Open access, power, and privilege: A response to “What I learned from predatory
publishing.” College and Research Library News, 78(11), 603–606. https://doi.org/10.25261/ir00000076
Yager, K. (2019). Innovative pedagogical practice in English through ‘reading to write.’ mETAphor, (4), 13–19.
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Suggested Unit Resources In order to access the following resources, click the links below. Videos and Recordings for Doctoral Students provides links to multiple recordings provided by Dr. Babb, CEO of the Babb Group, on study habits, literature reviews, locating and evaluating resources, exploring literature to being a research topic, and academic writing and tone. Transcripts for each recording are also provided. Beall’s List of Predatory Journals has been compiled into this PDF List of Predatory Journals, which you may find useful.https://online.columbiasouthern.edu/bbcswebdav/xid-130109622_1https://online.columbiasouthern.edu/bbcswebdav/xid-130109626_1