Week 6 – Research Writing

After reading Galey’s question for this week’s blog, I thought I knew exactly what to say, but through much thinking and reflecting, I found it to be more of a complex matter. I initially thought of the writing (and reading) that I tend to enjoy, such as short essays, fiction novels of various genres, and popular magazines and newspaper articles. I think I enjoy the writing in these sources because they are straightforward and they tend to grab my interest in the topic or subject area that is being discussed.

In terms of specifically research writing, I did not initially mention academic or scholarly articles in this list because the majority of the time, I find much of the writing to be too complex and difficult to fully comprehend what the author is attempting to convey to the reader. I often find myself taking an exceptionally long time reading these articles, and having to read the content over again. However, this is not the case with all of the articles I have read, and strangely enough, Jenna Hartel’s paper that was assigned for this week is one of them. I thoroughly enjoyed Jenna’s paper, primarily because of the simple and clear language she used throughout. I think it was simple to follow along with how she divided up the paper, and placed headings and subheadings showing where the divisions are made. For instance, she discussed the research methods she used in detail and placed them under the heading “Research method”, then she divides this up to “Gaining access”, “Semi-Structured ethnographic interviews” and so on (Hartel, 2010, p. 852). I think it is important to divide up the paper, especially for someone who is using it for his or her own research. That individual can easily find the specific sections that he or she would want to use. Also, I think Jenna does a great job in engaging the reader, which I sometimes find it difficult to do. The way she talks about her research in the paper is somewhat like a narrative – providing details and descriptions of the research process, which may cause the reader to feel that he or she is involved in this research process with her. At certain points, with the clear and extensive descriptions, she also provides tables and photographs of the artifacts and her other research findings. She essentially provides the readers her own research and how she makes sense of it. I find that Jenna’s paper, overall, is a great resource that demonstrates quality research writing.

Reference 

Hartel, J. (2010). Managing documents at home for serious leisure: a case study of the hobby of gourmet cooking. Journal of Documentation, 66(6), 847-874.  

Tracy Matos

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