Friday, November 29, 2013

Review: The Subject is Research

Author: Wendy Bishop and Pavel Zemliansky

Title: The Subject is Research: Processes and Practices
Description:  This is a collection of essays on undergraduate research aimed at students.   
Source: I read it because I was looking for a text for an undergraduate research course that the library is planning to offer.
Writing style: Since it’s a collection, the writing doesn’t have a consistent voice, but did seem to be at an appropriate level for upper-level undergraduates. One caveat on that book is that it was published in 2001, so any time it gets technology specific, it comes across as horribly dated. (Libraries are still on the cutting edge with their CD-Rom databases, etc.) So anyone who was going to use the book would have to be prepared to teach the current technology and tell the students to ignore any references in the book to stuff their parents used back when.
Major ideas: The strength of the book is its assumption that students are capable of thinking in a sophisticated way about research. Not just one approach or metaphor is introduced, but several. Students are challenged to think about sources and research writing rhetorically.

Wrap-up: I would probably use this book for my class, but I really wish they would bring out a new edition—with NO references to technology! That way it will stay current. 4/5*

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