The Engaged Intellectual: An Introduction to Research and Academic Work: Fall 2013


June Ahn


iSchool at Maryland


Fall 2013


This is a required, 3-credit course for doctoral students in the College of Information Studies. The course is run as an intensive seminar that is intended for first year PhD students.

In this seminar, students will explore a series of issues that confront academics who work in research universities. The course is an “Introduction to Research”, but the process of research is more than a recipe of rote analytical procedures. Instead, research is intimately linked to one’s beliefs about knowledge, scholarly community, and the impact one wants to make on the world.

In this course, students will examine academic life with a particular focus on what it means to undertake research, teaching, and service. By the conclusion of the course, students will have a better understanding of what tenure-track faculty do and how they work in the academy. Students will also explicate how they intend to structure their own professional careers.

Students will read, analyze, and discuss several issues in this semester. First, students will explore and debate what it means to conduct quality research, write for academic audiences, and contribute knowledge in the academy. Second, students will examine the debates around theory, research quality, and constructions of knowledge. Third, students will consider teaching, service, and their roles as academics in the field of Information Studies. The course will ask students to consider and define their identities as individuals, researchers, and teachers. Students will explicate how they see themselves as developing scholars, both at the present time and in their professional future.

Required Textbook:

Crotty, M. 1998. The Foundations of Social Research.
Graff, G., Birkenstein, C. 2009. They Say, I Say: The Moves that Matter in Academic Writing, 2nd ed.
O’Meara, K., Terosky, A. L., Neumann, A. 2008. ASHE Higher Education Report, Special Issue: Faculty Careers and Work Lives: A Professional Growth Perspective.
Sword, H. 2012. Stylish Academic Writing.

Link to Syllabus:


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