READING AND WRITING: Reading and writing for, and as, research

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When it comes to research, and to the textbooks, websites, and study skills resources that support it, much attention is given to writing. This is not surprising. For many novice researchers, and even experienced academics, the processes of writing, of publishing, and of putting one’s ideas in the public domain for scrutiny, can be difficult ones. Reading, however, tends not to be seen in the same way. Of course, there are the perennial problems of tackling the seminal texts in one’s field (especially those that might be considered difficult, or whose ideas are strongly contested). There is also the sheer amount of material that there is to read, to which online portals and databases now provide access, and which link to yet more material. But writing - especially academic writing - remains the more difficult skill for many. It is not surprising, then, that many of the research methods textbooks that we discussed in Chapter 2 devote more space to discussions of the process of writing (the different sections of one’s research report or dissertation), than to what is entailed in the practices of reading for research. We will return to practices of writing later in this chapter, but our focus first is on reading. Initially, we will consider how some of the research methods texts perceive the place of reading in the research process (in terms of what it is and when it is undertaken, i.e. what it is for). We then turn attention to how reading tends to be understood in educational philosophy, exemplifying some of its practices with reference to our colleagues’ contributions in Part II.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhilosophy and Theory in Educational Research
Subtitle of host publicationWriting in the margin
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781317481645
ISBN (Print)9781138899179
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


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