In the fall of 2012, I entered Writing As Inquiry expecting to be bogged down in research methods. Within the first class periods I learned that my class would be learning research through the process of creating a travel writing website focused on Highway 64 inside of North Carolina. During this class I worked in a group of four team members and traveled the east-coast of Highway 64.
I choose to write about Jockey’s Ridge and the Lexington BBQ Festival from different perspectives in order to expand my writing experience. Although both projects required research and maintained a less formal writing style, they are written with a very different tone of voice, which reflected my experiences. In the case of these articles, there was a balance in tone that needed to be reached; while they were travel writing articles that relied mostly on personal experience and opinions it was an academic assignment and (for the foreseeable future) would only be read by students. In addition, their needed to be continuity between the writing style and tone of articles due to the full staff of writers.
Travel writing approached research in an unexpected way. While the experience focused on learning as much information as possible about the locations to be visited in order to fully appreciate the experience and inform our questions regarding the locals, it seemed so casual at times that I would forget I was on an academic assignment. The advantage of taking research in such a way is that it inspires students to see research as an adventure to expand knowledge through experience rather than accept the secondhand story published in online journals.