Friday, 6 January 2012

Teaching Research Methodology

After last semester ended I began teaching a winter class -- Research Methodology -- on the day after Christmas. The class is basically a guided course in the writing of a literary research paper. Within the span of one week (Monday through Friday) I facilitated about 20 students to choose a topic, narrow it down to a research question, adapt it to a thesis statement, develop an outline, find sources, and write the first draft of a short literary research paper. Over the weekend they had to expand on the paper, edit it, and hand in their final paper on the following Monday. In other words, they wrote a short, but nevertheless complete, research paper on a literary topic of their choosing from start to finish in exactly one week. With the right guidance (see how I'm blowing my own horn), it can be done.

That evening and most of the following day I spent grading those papers, for I had little time to spare, because on Tuesday night I went to the airport. Early on Wednesday I was off on a plane and currently find myself in Hong Kong. One more day and then I'll hop on the plane again, destination South Africa, for my annual "visit back home".
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