In this exercise, students interview another professor about writing in their field and then reflect on what connections they might make between writing in different contexts.
To learn about the role of research and writing in different disciplines and professions; to learn about how research and writing are valued and what motivates scholars and professionals to write and do research
genre; oral communication; writing in the disciplines
- Draft a formal email to a current or past professor requesting help with completing the following assignment. (TAs are also fine.)
- Rehearse beforehand! While this is not a formal presentation, you should still feel comfortable asking your questions, and at ease speaking to the professor you choose.
- Conduct an interview based on the following questions. You can visit a professor during office hours, make an appointment, or conduct the interview by phone or email.
- What is your discipline and how would you describe it?
- Describe your sub-discipline or your main areas of interest within your field.
- What kinds of research do you do in your work in this field?
- What would you say are the characteristics of good research in your field?
- What kinds of writing do you do in your work in this field?
- What would you say are the characteristics of good writing in your field?
- What is the most exciting thing for you about working in your field?
- How do you express this excitement in your writing?
- What is one thing you would most want undergraduates to understand or appreciate about research or writing in your field?
- What surprised you?
- Can you make any connections between your professor’s answers and your own experiences writing or doing research, in this class or another?