More on Thinking Critically about the Research Process
I want to finish up the research discussion by talking about epistemology. Here’s a dictionary definition:
e · pis · te · mol · o · gy: The branch of philosophy that studies the nature of knowledge, its presuppositions and foundations, and its extent and validity.
–American Heritage Dictionary
Let’s consider how the word relates to research:
- Why bring up epistemology while discussing research? Where does knowledge come from?
- Who determines what important knowledge is and what isn’t?
- When is knowledge solidified for a discipline, or, in other words, when do members of a discipline stop looking for new ideas?
- What resources are available for those looking for knowledge of a particular field?
- How will you contribute to your field’s knowledge?
Remember, this is an advanced class, so we’re supposed to be considering how discourse communities communicate knowledge. In order to do that, we need to think of the rhetorical situations for communicating within a discipline or within an occupational setting. The areas below are ideas to consider when choosing what to include in a document you create based on research. How might the following areas affect your presentation of research?
- highly technical, semi-technical, non-technical
- peers, bosses, potential clients, consumers
- What are you trying to accomplish?
- What medium(-a) will best communicate your ideas?
- prior accomplishments
- Every discipline needs a history
- What are the common communication practices for the organization?
- How long has the company been around?
- How are you compiling and presenting knowledge?
- What methods are valid ways of “discovering” knowledge for your field?
Thinking Critically about Research
Check out our Research Page in order to see how to approach the research for your annotated bibliography and presentation.
Time Permitting—Internet Source Credibility
Take a look at the following web sites below and consider how credible they are: