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Research as a Conversation: Understanding the Conversation

Understand What Scholars Say

Understand the Conversation
about Your Topic

1. Ask questions as you read or listen to Scholars.

2. Identify the main theme or issues.

3. Analyze the Scholar's research method, arguments,
    intended audience, context, supporting sources,
    claims, and biases.
4. Compare what the Scholar says about your Topic
    with what other Scholars say about it.
5. Compare what Scholars say with what you know about
    your Topic and justify or reconcile differences.
6. Synthesize the main ideas of several Scholars to make
    a new idea.
7. Make an outline or spider diagram and write about what
    Scholars say about the topic.
8. Discuss what you find with others.


While reading, try to answer the following questions:
  • What is the main theme or issues?
  • What are the arguments used to support this?
  • Are any bad arguments used?
  • Is there any false information used?
  • What biases are apparent?
  • What objections might be raised?
  • What similarities and differences are there?
  • How do the ideas differ or agree with what you know about the topic?
  • What new idea can you make up from the ideas presented?
  • What would the content look like in an outline or spider diagram?