The Curious Researcher - Higher Education

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The Curious Researcher

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The Curious Researcher A Guide to Writing Research Papers Ninth Edition

Bruce Ballenger Boise State University

330 Hudson Street, NY NY 10013

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VP & Portfolio Manager: Eric Stano Development Editor: Ginny Blanford Marketing Manager: Nick Bolte Program Manager: Emily Biberger Project Manager: Alverne Ball, Integra Cover Designer: Anuj Shrestha, Pentagram Manufacturing Buyer: Roy L. Pickering, Jr. Printer and Binder: RR Donnelley/Crawfordsville Cover Printer: Lumina Acknowledgments of third-party content appear on pages xviii–xix, which constitute an e­ xtension of this copyright page. PEARSON, ALWAYS LEARNING, and REVEL are exclusive trademarks in the United States and/or other countries owned by Pearson Education, Inc., or its affiliates. Unless otherwise indicated herein, any third-party trademarks that may appear in this work are the property of their respective owners and any references to third-party trademarks, logos, or other trade dress are for demonstrative or descriptive purposes only. Such references are not intended to imply any sponsorship, endorsement, authorization, or promotion of Pearson’s products by the owners of such marks, or any relationship between the owner and Pearson Education, Inc., or its affiliates, authors, licensees, or distributors. Copyright © 2018, 2015, 2012 by Pearson Education, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Printed in the United States of America. This publication is protected by copyright, and permission should be obtained from the publisher prior to any prohibited reproduction, storage in a retrieval system, or transmission in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise. For information regarding permissions, request forms and the appropriate contacts within the Pearson Education Global Rights & Permissions Department, please visit www.pearsoned.com/permissions/. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Ballenger, Bruce P. Title: The curious researcher: a guide to writing research   papers/Bruce Ballenger. Description: Ninth edition. | Hoboken, New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2017. Identifiers: LCCN 2016042267 | ISBN 9780134498263 (softcover) Subjects: LCSH: Report writing—Handbooks, manuals, etc.|   Research—Handbooks, manuals, etc. Classification: LCC LB2369.B246 2017 | DDC 808/.02—dc23   LC record available at http://lccn.loc.gov/2016042267 Student Edition

1 16

ISBN 10:  0-134-49826-7 ISBN 13: 978-0-134-49826-3 A la Carte

www.pearsonhighered.com

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ISBN 10:  0-134-49953-0 ISBN 13: 978-0-134-49953-6

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For Rebecca, who reminds me to ask, Why?

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Contents Thematic Table of Contents  Preface  About the Author 

xii xv xxi

Introduction

Thinking about—and Rethinking—the Research Paper  1 Learning and Unlearning 101

1

Exercise 1  This I Believe

2

Using This Book The Exercises The Five-Week Plan Alternatives to the Five-Week Plan

3 3 3 4

Understanding Your Assignment 4 Discovering Your Purpose 4 Writing to Find Out and Writing to Prove 5 Analyzing a Research Assignment 6 A Thesis: Where and When? 7 Audience8 Structure8 Narrator9 Types of Evidence 10 Thinking Like an Academic Writer and Researcher 11 “It’s Just My Opinion” 11 Facts Don’t Kill

12

Exercise 2  R  eflecting on “Theories of Intelligence”12

“Theories of Intelligence” by Bruce Ballenger Creative Research Papers?

1

13 17

The First Week

19

The Importance of Getting Curious Seeing the World with Wonder Getting the Pot Boiling

19 20 20

Exercise 1.1  Building an Interest Inventory

Browse for a Topic

21

22

Making the Most of an Assigned Topic From Topic to Question Where’s Waldo? and the Organizing Power of Questions

24 25 25

Exercise 1.2  The Myth of the Boring Topic

26

Developing a Working Knowledge

27

Case Study on Developing Working Knowledge: Theories of Dog Training

28

Research Strategies for Developing Working Knowledge29 Wikipedia and Beyond: Encyclopedias and Working Knowledge  30  •  Using Apps to Manage Your Research  30

Exercise 1.3  Building a Bibliography

31

The Reference Librarian: A Living Source 32

Narrowing the Subject

32

Exercise 1.4  Finding the Questions

34

Crafting Your Opening Inquiry Question34 Possible Purposes for a Research Assignment37 Reading for Research

37

Exercise 1.5  Research Proposal

38

How to Read an Academic Article Rhetorical Reading Strategies

2

The Second Week

What Are Your Research Routines?

38 39

41 41

Planning for the Dive 42 The Power of Words to Find and Filter Information43 Keyword Searches  43  • Subject or Index Searches  44  • Refining Keyword Searches Using Boolean Connectors  45

Exercise 2.1  Worksheet for Power Searching

What’s a Good Source?

46

48

vii

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viii Contents Fieldwork: Research on What You See and Hear Preparing for Fieldwork Notetaking Strategies Using What You See and Hear

A Rhetorical Perspective on Sources  48  • Seeing Sources for What They Do and Not What They Are  50  • Thinking Critically about Sources in Academic Writing  51  • Evaluating Online Sources for Academic Essays  52 A Key to Evaluating Internet Sources  53  •  Authored Documents  54  •  Unauthored Documents  55

Developing Focused Knowledge

3 55

Seeing Patterns  56 

What About a Thesis?

57

Are You Suspending Judgment?  57  •  Are You Testing Assumptions?  57  •  What Are You Arguing?  57

The Third Week

76 77 77 78

79

Writing in the Middle: Conversing with Sources Notetaking as a Scene of Writing

79 80

Exercise 3.1  G  etting into a Conversation with a Fact

81

What I Hear You Saying

82

Keeping Track of What You Find: Building a Bibliography

58

Searching Library Databases for Books and Articles Finding Books

Exercise 3.2  E  xplore, “Say Back,” and Synthesize83

60 61

Your Voice and Theirs: Using Sources Responsibly84

Understanding Call Numbers  61  • Coming Up Empty Handed?  61  • Checking Bibliographies  62  • Interlibrary Loan  62

Article Databases Saving Search Results

62 64

Exercise 2.2  Search Book and Article Databases

64

Advanced Internet Research Using Google Scholar

65

Link to Your Library  65  • Exploit Related Results  65  • Filter Using Advanced Search  66

Living Sources: Interviews and Surveys Arranging Interviews

67 67

Types of Interviews  67  • Finding People to Talk to  68  • Making Contact  69  • Conducting Interviews  69 What Questions to Ask?  70  •  During the Interview  71  •  Notetaking  71

Planning Informal Surveys Defining Goals and Audience  72  • Paper or Electronic?  72  • Types of Questions  74  • Crafting Questions  74 Avoid Loaded Questions  74  •  Avoid Vague Questions  74  •  Drawbacks of Open-Ended Questions  75  •  Designing Your Multiple-Choice Questions  75  •  Using Scaled Responses  75 Conducting Surveys  75 In-Person Surveys  76  •  Internet Surveys  76

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72

A Taxonomy of Copying

85

Plagiarism Q & A

86

Why Plagiarism Matters

86

The Notetaker’s Triad: Quotation, Paraphrase, and Summary 88 Paraphrasing88 Summarizing88 Quoting89 Notetaking Methods

91

Exercise 3.3  Dialogic Notetaking: Listening in, Speaking up

92

“What? I Failed? But I Paid for Those Credits! Problems of Students Evaluating Faculty” by Thomas Lord Notetaking Techniques The Double-Entry Journal The Research Log Narrative Notetaking Online Research Notebooks

93 97 97 102 104 104

When You’re Coming up Short: More Advanced Searching Techniques 106 Advanced Library Searching Techniques106 Additional Advanced Internet Searching Techniques107

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Contents ix

Thinking Outside the Box: Alternative Sources108 Exercise 3.4  Building an Annotated Bibliography

4

The Fourth Week

109

Problem #3: The Kitchen Sink Quotation

Other Quick Tips for Controlling Quotations141 Grafting Quotes  141  • Billboarding Quotes  142  • Splicing Quotes  142  • Handling Interview Material  142  • Trusting Your Memory 143

111

Getting to the Draft Exploration or Argument? What Do I Know?

111 112 113

Exercise 4.1  Dialogue with Dave

113

Citing Sources to Tell a Story Driving through the First Draft

114

5

Organizing the Draft Following Narrative Logic Following Argumentative Logic Exploring or Arguing: An Example

115 116 117 121

Seeing the “Triangleness” of the Draft Revising for Readers: Writer- to Reader-Based Prose

Preparing to Write the Draft Refining the Question Refining the Thesis

121 122 122

Exercise 4.2  Sharpening Your Point

124

Say One Thing

Deciding Whether to Say I125 Starting to Write the Draft: Beginning at the Beginning Flashlights or Floodlights? Writing Multiple Leads

126 127 128

Exercise 4.3  Three Ways in

129

Writing for Reader Interest Who’s Steering and Where to? Working the Common Ground Putting People on the Page

131 131 132 132

Using Case Studies  132  •  Using Interviews 133

Writing a Strong Ending

133

Endings to Avoid  133

Using Surprise Writing with Sources Synthesizing Sources and the Moves Writers Make Handling Quotes Problem #1: Stop and Plop Quotation  137 Passive Blending  138  •  Active Blending  138 Problem #2: Breadless Sandwich Quotation  139 Passive Blending  139  •  Active Blending  139

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135 135 136 137

140

Passive Blending  140  •  Active Blending  140

The Fifth Week

143 144

146 146 147

Is It Organized Around a Clear Purpose?  148  • Does It Establish Significance?  149

Exercise 5.1  Wrestling with the Draft

150

Does It Say One Thing?  151  •  Using a Reader  151

Exercise 5.2  Directing the Reader’s Response

Reviewing the Structure

152

153

Using Your Thesis to Revise  153 Examining the Wreckage  153

Exercise 5.3  The Frankenstein Draft

153

Other Ways of Reviewing the Structure  155 Type of Essay  155  •  Lead  155  •  Logical Structure 155

Reresearching156 Finding Quick Facts 156 Local Revision: Revising for Language Who Are You in Your Draft? Managing Persona Through Diction and Style Tightening the Seams Between What You Say and What They Say

158 158 158 159

Verbal Gestures  160

Scrutinizing Paragraphs

162

Is Each Paragraph Unified?  162

Scrutinizing Sentences

162

Using Active Voice  162  •  Using Strong Verbs  163  • Varying Sentence Length  163  • Editing for Simplicity  165  Avoiding Stock Phrases  165

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x Contents Exercise 5.4  Cutting Clutter

165

Preparing the Final Manuscript 166 Considering a “Reader-Friendly” Design166 Using Images 167 Following MLA Conventions 168 Proofreading Your Paper 168

170

Using the “Find” or “Search” Function  171  •  Avoiding Sexist Language  172

Looking Back and Moving On

173

Exercise 5.6  Another Dialogue with Dave

173

Appendix A Guide to the New MLA Style

174

Part One: Citing Sources in Your Essay

178

1.1 When to Cite The Common Knowledge Exception

178 178

1.2 The MLA Author/Page System The Basics of Using Parenthetical Citation

178 178

Placement of Citations  179 1.2.1 When There Are No Page Numbers  180  •  1.2.2 When You Mention One Author  181  •  1.2.3 When You Mention More Than One Author  181  •  1.2.4 When There Is No Author  181  •  1.2.5 Works by the Same Author  182  •  1.2.6 Works by Different Authors with the Same Name  183  •  1.2.7 Indirect Sources  183  •  1.2.8 Personal Interviews  183  1.2.9 Several Sources in a Single Citation  183

Sample Parenthetical References for Other Sources

184

1.2.10 An Entire Work  184  •  1.2.11 A Volume of a Multivolume Work  184  •  1.2.12 A Literary Work  184

184

2.1 Author

184

2.1.1 The Basics

184

2.1.2 When No Author is Listed  185  •  2.1.3 Other Kinds of Contributors  185

185 2.2.1The Basics  185  •  2.2.2 When There is No Title  186

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2.4 Other Contributors

188

2.5 Version

188

2.6 Number

188

2.7 Publisher

189

2.8 Publication Date

189

2.8.1 The Basics  189  •  2.8.2 Other Publication Date Information  190

2.9 Location

190

Part Three: Preparing the Works Cited Page and Other Formatting

191

3.1 Format of Works Cited Alphabetizing the List Indenting and Spacing

191 191 191

3.2 The Layout of Print Essays

192

3.2.1 Printing

192

3.2.2 Margins and Spacing  192  •  3.2.3 Title  192  •  3.2.4 Header with Pagination  193  •  3.2.5 Placement of Tables, Charts, and Illustrations  193

3.3 Some Style Considerations

194

3.3.1 Handling Titles  194  •  3.3.2 Style Related to Sources and Quotations  194

Part Four: Student Paper in MLA Style “Seeing Past Fear” by Rachel Gallina

Appendix B Guide to APA Style Part One: Citing Sources in Your Essay

195 196

204 206

1.1 The APA Author/Date System 206 The Basics of Using Parenthetical Citation206 When to Cite Page Numbers  207

Part Two: Building Citations

2.2 Title

185

2.3.1 The Basics  185  •  2.3.2 Other Kinds of Containers  187

2.7.1 The Basics  189  •  2.7.2 When the Publisher Is Not Obvious  189

Proofreading on a Computer  169  • Looking Closely  169  •  10 Common Things to Avoid in Research ­Papers  169

Exercise 5.5  Picking Off the Lint

2.3 Container

1.1.1 A Work by One Author  207  •  1.1.2 A Work by Two Authors  207  •  1.1.3 A Work by Three to Five Authors  207  •  1.1.4 A Work by Six or More Authors  207  •  1.1.5 An Institutional Author  208  •  1.1.6 A Work with No Author  208  •  1.1.7 Two or More Works by the Same Author  208  •  1.1.8 Authors with the Same Last Name  208  •  1.1.9 Several Sources in a Single Citation  208  •  1.1.10 Indirect Sources  209  •  1.1.11 New Editions of Old Works  209  •  1.1.12

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Contents xi Interviews, E-Mail, and Letters  209  •  1.1.13 A Web Site  209

Part Two: Formatting Your Essay 2.1 Formatting the Essay and Its Parts

210 210

2.1.1 Page Format and Header  210  •  2.1.2 Title Page  210  •  2.1.3 Abstract  210  •  2.1.4 Body of the Paper  210  •  2.1.5 Headings  212  •  2.1.6 Handling Quoted Material  212  •  2.1.7 References List  213  •  2.1.8 Tables and Figures  214  •  2.1.9 Appendix  214  •  2.1.10 Notes  214

2.2 Some Style Considerations 2.2.1 Use of Italics

3.3 Citing Articles, in Print and Online

215 215

2.2.2 Treatment of Numbers  215

Part Three: Preparing the References List

215

3.1 Order of Sources and Information Order of Sources Order of Information

215 215 216

Author or Authors  216  • Date  216  • Book Title or Article Title  216  • Periodical Title and Publication Information  216  • Publication Information for Books  217  • Digital Sources  217

3.2 Citing Books, in Print and Online 3.2.1 A Book with One Author  218  •  3.2.2 A Book with Two Authors  218  •  3.2.3 A Book with Three to Seven Authors  218  •  3.2.4 A Book with Eight or More Authors  218  •  3.2.5 A Book with an Institutional Author  218  •  3.2.6 A Book

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with No Author  219  •  3.2.7 An Encyclopedia Entry  219  •  3.2.8 A Chapter in a Book  219  •  3.2.9 A Book with an Editor  219  •  3.2.10 A Selection in a Book with an Editor  219  •  3.2.11 A Republished Work  219  •  3.2.12 A Government Document  219

218

220

3.3.1 A Journal Article  220  •  3.3.2 A Journal Article Not Paginated Continuously  220  •  3.3.3 A Magazine Article  220  •  3.3.4 A Newspaper Article  221  •  3.3.5 An Article with No Author  221  •  3.3.6 An Article on a Web Site  221  •  3.3.7 An Abstract  221  •  3.3.8 A Book Review  222  •  3.3.9 An Editorial  222  •  3.3.10 A Letter to the Editor  222  •  3.3.11 A Published Interview 222

3.4 Citing Other Sources

222

3.4.1 An Entire Web Site  222  •  3.4.2 A Film, DVD, or Online Video  223  •  3.4.3 A Television Program  223  •  3.4.4 An Audio Podcast  223  •  3.4.5 A Blog  223  •  3.4.6 A Wiki  223  •  3.4.7 Online Discussion Lists  223  •  3.4.8 A Musical Recording  224

Part Four: Student Paper in APA Style “Looking for Utopia: The Men and Women of the People’s Temple” by Laura Burns

224

225

Credits000 Index000

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Thematic Table of Contents Research Skills

CHAPTER 4

111

INTRODUCTION1

Writing with Sources

135

Understanding Your Assignment

CHAPTER 5 Finding Quick Facts

146 156

Local Revision: Revising for Language

158

CHAPTER 1

4 19

Wikipedia and Beyond: Encyclopedias and Working Knowledge

30

Ex. 1.3  Building a Bibliography

31

Ex. 1.4  Finding the Questions

34

Ex. 1.5  Research Proposal

38

CHAPTER 2 41 The Power of Words to Find and Filter Information43 Ex. 2.1  Worksheet for Power Searching

46

Evaluating Online Sources for Academic Essays52

Research Strategies INTRODUCTION1 Writing to Find Out and Writing to Prove 5 CHAPTER 1

19

Developing a Working Knowledge

27

Narrowing the Subject

32

Reading for Research

37

CHAPTER 2

41

What are Your Research Routines?

41

Keeping Track of What You Find: Building a Bibliography

58

Searching Library Databases for Books and Articles

Planning for the Dive What’s a Good Source?

42 48

60

Developing Focused Knowledge

55

Living Sources: Interviews and Surveys

67

Fieldwork: Research on What You See and Hear

76

CHAPTER 3

79 79

Advanced Internet Research Using Google Scholar

65

Living Sources: Interviews and Surveys

67

Fieldwork: Research on What You See and Hear

76

CHAPTER 3

79

Writing in the Middle: Conversing with Sources

What I Hear You Saying

82

Notetaking as a Scene of Writing

80

83

Notetaking Methods

91

Ex. 3.2  Explore, “Say Back,” and Synthesize

Your Voice and Theirs: Using Sources Responsibly84 The Notetaker’s Triad: Quotation, Paraphrase, and Summary

88

Notetaking Methods

91

Ex. 3.4  Building an Annotated Bibliography109

When You’re Coming up Short: More Advanced Searching Techniques CHAPTER 4 Following Narrative Logic Following Argumentative Logic Synthesizing Sources and the Moves Writers Make

106 111 116 117 136

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Thematic Table of Contents xiii

CHAPTER 5

146

Reresearching156 Genre INTRODUCTION1

Writing Process INTRODUCTION

1

Understanding Your Assignment

4

Creative Research Papers?

17

Ex. 1  This I Believe

2

CHAPTER 1

19

Understanding Your Assignment

4

The Importance of Getting Curious

19

Reading for Research 

37

CHAPTER 2

41

Ex. 2.1  Worksheet for Power Searching 

46

What’s a Good Source?

48

Presenting Research in Alternative Genres (PRAGs)

6

Facts Don’t Kill

12

Ex. 2  Reflecting on “Theories of Intelligence”

12

Creative Research Papers?

17

CHAPTER 1 PRAGs: Four Genres 

A Rhetorical Perspective on Sources

48

What about a Thesis?

57

19

CHAPTER 3 

79

36

Notetaking as a Scene of Writing

80

Possible Purposes for a Research Assignment

37

Reading for Research 

37

Ex. 3.1  Getting into a Conversation with a Fact

81

CHAPTER 2

41

What I Hear You Saying

82

PRAGs: Genre Power 

58

Ex. 3.2  Explore, “Say Back,” and Synthesize

83

CHAPTER 3

79

PRAGs: Three Rhetorical Goals

89

Why Plagiarism Matters

86

Notetaking Methods

91

PRAGs: Three Rhetorical Goals

89

Ex. 3.3  Dialogic Notetaking: Listening in and Speaking up 

92

CHAPTER 4

111

PRAGs: Slide Presentations: Planning and Design

114

Getting to the Draft 

111

PRAGs: Infographic: Planning and Design 

Ex. 4.1  Dialogue with Dave

113

120

Organizing the Draft

115

PRAGs: Poster Planning and Design

120

PRAGs Photographic Essay Planning and Design

126

Preparing to Write the Draft  Refining the Question  Refining the Thesis

121 122 122

Synthesizing Sources and the Moves Writers Make 

Ex. 4.2  Sharpening Your Point

124

136

Starting to Write the Draft: Beginning at the Beginning 

126

CHAPTER 5 

146

Ex. 4.3  Three Ways In

129

CHAPTER 4

111

Other Ways of Reviewing the Structure 

155

Managing Persona Through Diction and Style Considering a “Reader-Friendly” Design

Writing for Reader Interest

131

158 166

CHAPTER 5

146

PRAGs: Reflecting 

172

Seeing the “Triangleness” of the Draft 

146

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xiv Thematic Table of Contents Revising for Readers: Write- to Reader-Based Prose

147

Ex. 5.1  Wrestling with the Draft

150

Ex. 5.2  Directing the Reader’s Response

152

Ex. 5.3  The Frankenstein Draft

153

Local Revision: Revising for Language

158

Ex. 5.4  Cutting Clutter 

165

Preparing the Final Manuscript

166

Ex. 5.5  Picking off the Lint

170

Inquiry INTRODUCTION1 Learning and Unlearning 101

1

Understanding Your Assignment  Thinking Like an Academic Writer and Researcher 

4 11

Creative Research Papers? 

17

CHAPTER 1

19

The Importance of Getting Curious

19

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Developing a Working Knowledge

28

Narrowing the Subject Crafting Your Opening Inquiry Question

32

CHAPTER 2  What about a Thesis?

41 57

CHAPTER 3 

79

Writing in the Middle: Conversing with Sources

79

Notetaking as a Scene of Writing

80

CHAPTER 4 Following Narrative Logic Following Argumentative Logic Refining the Question  Refining the Thesis 

111 116 117 122 122

Ex.4.2  Sharpening Your Point

124

CHAPTER 5

146

Looking Back and Moving On 

173

Ex. 5.6  Another Dialogue with Dave

173

34

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Preface Features of the New Edition Writing a textbook is like discovering an aunt you never knew you had. She arrives unexpectedly one summer and stands at your door beaming and expectant. Naturally, you welcome her in. How charming she is, and as you get to know her, you get to know yourself. This is her gift to you. At some point, many months later, you see her luggage by the door, and with a certain sadness, you send her off. “Come again,” you yell as she ambles away. “Come again anytime. I’ll miss you!” And you do. Your fondness for this newly discovered relative grows as you learn that other people who aren’t even blood related like her too. If a textbook is successful, the aunt returns again and again, and you get to know her well. Though you may wish, especially in the beginning, that she wouldn’t visit so often, after a few weeks there are new conversations and new discoveries. That’s the way it has always been for me with The Curious Researcher, and the ninth edition is no different. Here are some of the new features of the book that make me feel that way: • New content on presenting research in alternative genres. Since the early editions of The Curious Researcher, how students compose research projects has changed. Though they may often still write papers, research is also presented in other genres, many of which are multimodal. In this edition, a recurring feature on “Presenting Research in Alternative Genres” helps students to reimagine their projects as a slide presentation, infographic, photographic essay, or poster. They will find tips for choosing, planning, designing, and

reflecting on a relevant genre for their research project. • Latest approaches on how to think about sources. While genres for student research have evolved, approaches for how researchers look at sources have, too. Inspired by the recent Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, a dramatic new report from the group that represents university librarians, this edition encourages students to see sources in a more rhetorical context. The question “what is a good source?” is no longer simply that it is scholarly. Instead, students are encouraged to consider their audience, genre, and purpose. • Updated MLA citation conventions. With the publication of the latest MLA Handbook came a revolution in how to document sources in the humanities. In the new edition of The Curious Researcher, students will find a straight-forward and lively discussion of these changes that will help them adapt to the new style, including lots of examples. • More help on crafting search terms. Now more than ever, care in choosing search terms and phrases for library databases and Web searches makes a huge difference in the quality of results. This edition includes some new ways of thinking about how to come up with the best language. • New sections on narrative and argumentative logic. From the beginning, The Curious Researcher advocated the exploratory research essay as a useful alternative to the argumentative research paper. The new edition looks

xv

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xvi Preface at each option more closely, examining how essay and argument draw on different reasoning strategies, information that will help students choose which is most appropriate for their project. • New thematic table of contents. For users who want to tailor their use of the book to meet the needs of a particular course or the particular challenges of their students, this edition features a table of contents organized around five key categories: research skills, research strategies, writing process, inquiry, and genre.

Placing Inquiry at the Heart of the Course For many of my college writing students, there are two kinds of school writing—“creative” writing and “academic” writing—and the two have very little in common. Creative writing is typically any personal writing assignment—a personal narrative, a reader response, or a freewriting exercise— and academic writing is almost anything that involves research. I’ve spent quite a few years now trying to understand this perceived gap between creative and academic writing, a distinction that I have found troubling because it short-circuits the connection I have been trying to build between the personal and the academic, especially the idea that students’ own subjectivities are not only relevant to academic work but are also an inescapable part of it. I also know from my own experience as an academic that research writing is a creative enterprise. Why don’t my students see that? I’ve wondered. The answer, in part, lies with the traditional research paper assignment itself. Despite our best intentions, students often see the ­assignment as a closed process: come up with a thesis quickly, hunt down evidence to support it, and wrap it up—all the while focusing less on learning s­omething

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than on getting it right: the right number of pages, the right citations, the right margins. This isn’t the way academics approach research at all, of course. We do research because we believe there is something to discover that we don’t already know. How might I help my students understand that? The answer is to teach inquiry, which is “the heart of the [academic] enterprise.” Reviewing the state of undergraduate learning, the Boyer Commission lamented the largely passive experience that students have during their first year. They sit in lectures, regurgitate information in exams, and if they do write, students often do so without much passion. Rarely do they get a chance to genuinely inquire into questions that interest them where the motive is discovery. How strange this is, especially because we often imagine the first year as an introduction to thinking and learning as college students. Shouldn’t they get at least some experience with genuine inquiry, which is so central to higher education? The Boyer Commission concurred. The freshman year, the report concluded, should provide “new stimulation for intellectual growth and a firm grounding in inquiry-based learning.” The Curious Researcher answers that call. Research-based assignments, especially in the first-year writing class, present an ideal opportunity to encourage inquiry-based learning and the kinds of thinking it demands. In the many years I’ve taught inquiry, I’ve found that students— though sometimes confused at first—embrace the opportunity to exercise their curiosity. In some ways, new generations of college students are better prepared for inquiry-based approaches because they have lots of practice following trails on the Web as they explore questions that interest them. They know discovery. They just don’t experience it much in school. This book provides students with a more systematic approach to exploration, one that draws on intellectual practices and skills that will help them search, think,

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and write well. The Curious Researcher also tries to inspire students to ask those questions that will shape their thinking well after they leave school. But how does it do that?

Teaching the Spirit of Inquiry Over the years, I’ve refined The Curious Researcher’s approach to teaching inquiry, but it still rests on these premises: 1. Students should have the experience of investigating a topic in an open-ended way, at least initially. Whether their research p ­ rojects are ultimately exploratory or argumentative, ­students should experience the power of suspending judgment. This goes completely against their instincts, which are to nail things down as quickly as possible. However, discovery depends on entertaining contradictions, tolerating ambiguities, and simply wondering about what you read and hear. 2. Inquiry seeds argument. Most research writing in college is argumentative. Yet in most cases, we develop arguments inductively, through inquiry. We discover our thesis either by exploring the evidence or by testing our thesis against the evidence, including evidence that is inconvenient or contrary to what we already think. 3. One of the most useful—and difficult— things to teach and to learn is the power of questions. Inquiry-based approaches rest on wonder. These investigations often begin with questions of fact—What is known about the health effects of tanning booths?—that later flower into a question, say, of policy—What should be done to minimize the risks of tanning booths? The power of questions fuels the critical mind and drives the research. 4. Writing as a way of thinking is a vital tool in discovery and learning. What students in any major can learn in a writing class is how to put language into the service of inquiry.

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As any composition instructor knows, writing isn’t just a means of getting down what you already know. It’s much more interesting than that. Writing can help writers discover what they think. In an inquiry-based classroom, this is invaluable, and we need to teach students how to use writing not only to report the results of their research but also to think about what they’re discovering as they do research.

Ways of Using This Book Because procrastination ails many student researchers, this book is uniquely designed to move them through the research process, step-by-step and week by week, for five weeks—the typical period allotted for the research paper assignment. The structure of the book is flexible, however; students should be encouraged to compress the sequence if their research assignment will take less time or ignore the sequence altogether and use the book to help them solve specific problems as they arise. Naturally, the book is organized narratively, beginning with some of the issues students will initially encounter as they begin a research assignment, things like confronting their assumptions about research and finding a topic, and then taking them through the process of acquiring the knowledge about it to create a composition. Students who follow the five-week sequence usually find that they like the way The Curious Researcher doesn’t deluge them with information, unlike so many other research texts. Instead, The Curious Researcher doles information out week by week, when it is most needed. I’ve also been told by instructors who use the book for online classes that its structure is particularly well suited for teaching research writing in that environment, especially because each chapter contains exercises that help students work on their own to push their projects along.

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Alternatives to the Five-Week Plan The narrative structure is just one way your students might experience the book. Imagine the content falling into the following categories: • Skills. Discrete practices and techniques that students might begin to master (e.g., paraphrasing, documentation, annotated bibliography, understanding databases, crafting interview questions, avoiding plagiarism, integrating quotes) • Strategies. Approaches to gathering, evaluating, and organizing information (e.g., evaluating sources, developing working knowledge, notetaking as conversation with sources, choosing appropriate databases) • Genre. Consideration of how forms and conventions of research are shaped by users and situations (e.g., considering alternative genres, reading academic articles, citation conventions, types of research papers, etc.) • Writing Process. Methods of composing, ­including invention exercises, and how they respond to rhetorical situations (e.g., brainstorming topics, drafting lead paragraphs, revision, structuring the draft, writing for readers, model student essays, etc.) • Inquiry. Intellectual practices and ways of knowing that encourage exploration and discovery (e.g., unlearning, narrative and argumentative logic, qualities of strong inquiry questions, etc.) Because writing courses that feature research assignments vary widely, you might consider which of these five categories best support the class you’re teaching. The new edition includes an alternative table of contents on page xii that is organized around each of these categories and will help you decide what content might work for your class.

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REVEL™ Educational Technology Designed for the Way Today’s Students Read, Think, and Learn When students are engaged deeply, they learn more effectively and perform better in their courses. This simple fact inspired the creation of REVEL: an interactive learning environment designed for the way today’s students read, think, and learn. REVEL enlivens course content with media interactives and assessments—integrated directly within the authors’ narrative—that provide opportunities for students to read, practice, and study in one continuous experience. This immersive educational technology replaces the textbook and is designed to measurably boost students’ understanding, retention, and preparedness. Learn more about REVEL http://www.pearsonhighered.com/revel/

Acknowledgments I began working on the first edition of this book back in 1991, and in the many years since then, I’ve been fortunate to have great students who tutored me on what worked and what didn’t. Over the years, these have included many more students than I can name here, but I’d like to single out a few who have been particularly helpful: Andrea Oyarzabal, Amanda Stewart, and Rachel Gallina. My daughter, Becca Ballenger, to whom I dedicated the first edition of this book, is now a part-time collaborator. She’s always been a wonderful daughter, and now she’s turned into a wonderful writer, too. A special thanks to Sara Robertson, reference librarian at Portland Community College. Sara reviewed the book to make sure the coverage of information literacy and library resources reflected the latest thinking in her field. She was also instrumental in encouraging me to develop a new approach in Chapter 2 on how to evaluate

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Preface xix

sources rhetorically, which is one of the best new additions to the text. The strong support from the Pearson team is key to this book’s success. My editor at Pearson, Ginny Blanford, cheerfully spurred me on, offering valuable insights about how to make the book work better. Her expertise on the new MLA guidelines was a godsend. My former editor, Joe Opiela, took a risk on The Curious Researcher back in the early nineties, and for that I’m forever grateful. I also appreciate the enormous contribution that Randee Falk made to the book’s evolution in the last few editions. My new friends at Ohlinger Publishing Services—Cynthia Cox and Emily Biberger—skillfully shepherded the book through editing and production. A number of my colleagues have been unflagging in their support of The Curious Researcher over the years. Thanks to Carrie Seymour, a colleague at Boise State, who led me to the fine work of one of her students, which is now featured as a model essay in Appendix A. I’d also like to thank Deborah Coxwell-Teague, at Florida State University, and Nancy DeJoy, at Michigan State University. Both have been enthusiastic boosters of the book over the years. There are many others I’ve met traveling to campuses around the country who have been generous in their support and have

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said very kind things to me about the book. These visits are great learning opportunities for me, and they’ve been instrumental to an evolution in my thinking about how to teach writing and inquiry to all kinds of students in many different contexts. Thanks to all of you. Most of all, I’m grateful to my wife, Karen, and my two daughters, Becca and Julia, for always leaving the light on to guide me home. I would like to thank those individuals who have reviewed my book. Reviewers for the eighth edition include the following: Kathleen J. Cassity, Hawaii Pacific University; Sydney Darby, Chemeketa Community College; Holly DeGrow, Mt. Hood Community College; Tom Hertweck, University of Nevada–Reno; Nels P. Highberg, University of Hartford; Elizabeth Imafuji, Anderson University; and Shevaun Watson, University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire. I would also like to extend my thanks to the reviewers of this edition: Shanti Bruce, Ph.D., Nova Southeastern University; Julia Combs, Southern State University; Jordan Curtis, Bryant & Stratton College, Syracuse; Michael Delahoyde, Washington State University; Martha Silano, Bellevue ­College; Dr. Ann Spurlock, Mississippi State University; and Jennifer Wetham, Clark College. Bruce Ballenger

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About the Author

Bruce Ballenger, a professor of English at Boise State University, teaches courses in composition, composition theory, the essay tradition, and creative nonfiction. He’s the author of seven books, including the three texts in the Curious series: The Curious Researcher, The Curious Reader, and The Curious Writer, all from Pearson Education. His book Crafting Truth: Short Studies in Creative Nonfiction, is also from the same publisher. Ballenger lives in Boise, Idaho.

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The Curious Researcher - Higher Education

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