In order to accurately inform an audience, one must conduct research. Research goes beyond simply finding information, though. It, like many other aspects of writing, involves a process.
An effective researcher is able to inquire in hopes of gathering the sought after information and then synthesize analytical and writing skills to present one’s findings. To inquire is to ask questions, one building off the one before it, with the end goal of gathering as much information as possible on a topic. The acts taken to reach that goal range from doing online research, to conducting interviews, to observing and taking copious notes. Combining, or synthesizing, the information in a way that appropriately responds to a given assignment takes research from being a scientific act to one informing rhetorical discourses.
In this section, I included documents that show my understanding of the process and final products developed from my inquiries. The first piece is from my college writing class freshman year, the second is from my internship with Phi Beta Kappa’s alumni newsletter, The Key Reporter, and the third is from Writing as Inquiry, which I took this past fall. The discourse communities vary, as do the assignments, but the skill set required is essentially the same. Looking back at these pieces, my weaknesses are apparent. My growth is, too, which makes me confident that my abilities to research and present my findings are and will be continuously improving.