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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2017-18

MALS 130 Cultural Studies Research Methods

Writing a research paper requires the knowledge of the scope, the genesis, and the methods of the discipline one is engaged in. The goal of this workshop is to make students aware of their own approaches to help them develop their own research projects. It will cover methods of practical implementation, skills and strategies to obtain better results in research and class performance. Apart from learning how to apply and integrate different genre such as excerpts, protocols, reports, summaries, or charts that help preparing a presentation, writing a paper, or finishing a thesis, discussions will address the following questions:
1. What distinguishes scholarship from other forms of knowledge production (media, encyclopedias);
2. What research means in the sciences and in the humanities, and how individual disciplines produce knowledge;
3. What it means to read and write “critically;”
4. How to distinguish “scientific facts,” from “producing meaning,”
5. How to turn individual observations and experiences into viable scholarly projects and why framing the right question might be more important than the answer;
6. How research strategies and different forms of systematic thinking might be helpful at working places outside the university and beyond scholarly projects.
In order to practice how to plan or carry out research and how to build an argument, students will be asked to bring in their own work in progress, be it an initial idea for a final paper, a proposal for an independent study, or a chapter of their thesis.


Klaus Milich