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1.2: Scholarly Conversation

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    Have you ever walked into the middle of a conversation and, though you understand the words your friends are using, you don’t know what they are talking about? You then figure it out and join in adding to the conversation. Doing library research is catching up in a conversation and when you write your paper, give your presentation or defend your thesis, you are contributing to that conversation.

    Depending on your topic, that scholarly conversation may have been going on for a thousand years or more: all the way back to the great thinkers of ancient eras. Conversations in philosophy, science, education, agriculture, engineering and drama did not start yesterday. No matter what you are studying, part or all of your topic has been explored before. Your paper or project will integrate other’s writings, contributions and thoughts on your topic. Your paper/project now becomes a part of the conversation. Maintaining the integrity of the conversation requires citing sources in your work so we know who you invited into your conversation (i.e. whose work you read and used in your project).

    Scholarly conversations are dependent upon robust discussion and critical thinking that challenge the researchers’ methods, analyses and conclusions. Debate is not only healthy but necessary to move the conversation forward and advance our species. In section 2 you will see how this works via the peer review process.


    This page titled 1.2: Scholarly Conversation is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Carol M. Withers with Bruce Johnson & Nathan Martin.

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