In Module 2 we will be exploring research methods and strategies.

In Module 2 we will be exploring research methods and strategies. Teaching methods is fairly straightforward for a class with majors all in one discipline. In a course like LST 402, it’s much more of a challenge since you all have multiple, different disciplinary backgrounds.

For this assignment, you are asked to seek out a professor in the discipline most closely related to your capstone project and arrange an interview to discuss research in that discipline. The professor would ideally be one you know, but I can help you connect with a professor if you don’t have one in mind. The interview can be face-to-face or via phone or email.

Most faculty members are more than happy to talk to students about their disciplines. However, most of them also need notice to set up an interview. Please try to arrange this interview at least a week in advance. Explain to the professor that this is for your Liberal Studies capstone course and you have been assigned to learn more about methodologies in this discipline. You should also provide a brief overview of your proposed project (perhaps a condensed version of your proposal).

In the interview, you will want to ask questions similar to the following:

What are the key research methods used in this discipline? What methods does the professor most often employ in his/her own research?

What are the particular challenges of this methodolog(ies)?

  • Do you think this methodolog(ies) make sense for my research project?

What is the primary documentation style used in this discipline (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.)?

  • What disciplinary insights (or cognates) would be appropriate for my research project? Be prepared to explain the concept of a “cognate” to your interviewee.

In a couple paragraphs, tell me the details of the interview (who you interviewed, when you met, etc.) and then reflect on the interview. What did you learn from the conversation? How do you think you can incorporate what you learned from the interview into your project? Did the interview give you additional research ideas or strategies? Or raise additional questions that you would like to ask me?

  • After you reflect on the interview, I would like you to write out a plan for your research. What other research do you need to do? How do you plan to accomplish it? Do you need additional help/guidance from your professor or our librarian? Sketch out timeline that includes how you plan to gather, read, and evaluate sources before your annotated bibliography is due.

In Module 2 we will be exploring research methods and strategies.

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