Transferring Knowledge of L2 Research Methodology for Literary Researchers

[cross-listed with FREN512A]

In this interdisciplinary course, literature students learn and apply fundamental concepts of research methods and techniques. The aim is to prepare students to produce literary studies with an enriched methodological design. Students are guided to pay attention to the kinds of research questions or hypotheses tested in systematic research (e.g., Second Language Research, Applied Linguistics) vis-à-vis those formulated in literature, the data collection methods employed in systematic research, and how careful justification of methodological decisions enhances the rigor of a study. All along the course, students will be motivated to critically assess studies that employ a systematic methodology, seeking possibilities for transferring ideas that may enrich their own investigation in literary studies.

Students will apply the concepts and methods studied in class working with a corpus of short stories by E. A. Poe written in English. The unification of the linguistic code will make possible that students collaborate in class. Moreover, a corpus of short stories facilitates an identification of thematic tendencies within and between texts, an identification of research topics, the formulation of research questions, even quantifying textual information across stories.

Students pursuing interdisciplinary studies that combine literature and sociology, linguistics, or education will appreciate this course. They will learn to comprehend methodological choices and above all, appreciate the emphasis that disciplines assign to research methodology. By the end of the term, students will be more resourceful to produce literary studies with enriched designs and clear methodological justifications.

Learning Objectives
By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Define fundamental notions regarding research, types of research, research design, research questions and hypothesis, replication, and types of data.
  • Recognize methodological considerations to conduct a rigorous literature review.
  • Apply on literary texts at least one method of quantification of data.
  • Apply on literary texts at least one method of qualitative data analysis.
  • Critique published research on the grounds of the methodologies employed.
  • Produce a literary research project clearly organized and structured.

The course website will contain readings about the theory and practice of research methodology, a corpus of short stories by E. A. Poe, and activities related to the course.

Language of Instruction: English.

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