Reading Empirical Research Studies: The Rhetoric of Research

Synopsis

For the most part, those who teach writing and administer writing programs do not conduct research on writing. Perhaps more significantly, they do not often read the research done by others because effective reading of articles on empirical research requires special knowledge and abilities. By and large, those responsible for maintaining and improving writing instruction cannot -- without further training -- access work that could help them carry out their responsibilities more effectively. This book is designed as a text in graduate programs that offer instruction in rhetoric and composition. Its primary educational purposes are:

• to provide models and critical methods designed to improve the reading of scientific discourse

• to provide models of effective research designs and projects appropriate to those learning to do empirical research in rhetoric.

Aiming to cultivate new attitudes toward empirical research, this volume encourages an appreciation of the rhetorical tradition that informs the production and critical reading of empirical studies. The book should also reinforce a slowly growing realization in English studies that empirical methods are not inherently alien to the humanities, rather that methods extend the power of humanist researchers trying to solve the problems of their discipline.