Research literacy within the communication discipline demonstrated by the ability to create and complete at least one inquiry project that articulates a communication problem, strategy, or initiative to be analyzed and evaluated; adopts an epistemological standpoint; locates, aggregates, and analyzes credible research; drafts a literature review that supports and illuminates a chosen area of inquiry; and composes and supports arguments using at least one theoretical framework.
With each paper assignment, the research regimen would begin anew. We learned to distill the topic for analysis, identify parameters and criteria from which to structure our research, then go hunting among online databases for peer-reviewed articles and other sources. The findings became the raw material from which to construct and prove the argument.
During COM 616 – “Communicating Mindfully”, I explored conspiracy theories as examples of abusive discourses that violated the communicative commitments inherent in public accountability ethics, most notably the “good” of integral learning from exposure to diverse ideas and positions in the public realm. The inquiry paper’s methodology was based on Michele Foucault’s concepts about society’s dominant system of power/knowledge dictating what is considered truth or “common sense,” using conspiracy theories about Common Core academic standards as the evidence. Here’s a video presentation of the inquiry paper’s findings.