Two articles from the Open Access textbook, Bad Ideas about Writing, challenge traditional notions of the research process. Though you might have enjoyed research projects you’ve completed in other writing classes, these two articles emphasize the research process as one of active inquiry and discovery. The titles alone may challenge previous writing assignments you’ve done. Two “bad ideas” are “Research Starts with a Thesis Statement” and “Research Starts with Answers.”
Do you think these are “bad” ideas? Why or why not? You don’t have to agree, only to consider the ideas.
In her article, “Research Starts with a Thesis Statement,” Emily A. Wierszewski writes:
We should conduct research not just to back up our pre-existing assumptions and prove we’re right about something, but also when we feel curious or confused and do not have answers. Why is something the way it is? Why doesn’t the data quite add up? How could something be changed for the better?
When we understand research as a process of discovery rather than a process of proof, we open ourselves up to be changed by our research–to better our lives, our decisions, and our world.
The full pdf of the article is here;