On Thu, 27 Mar 1997, Nick Chapman wrote:
> >I know you are new to college, but asking a bunch of people for answers
> >online is not "research."
> I'd like to mildly disagree, or partially disagree perhaps.  One possible
> response to this assignment is to conduct an interview with a person or two
> in the field.  But the way to do that is not to send out a vague query to a
> list, but rather to ask if any professional in the field would be willing
> to be interviewed, online or otherwise, for a project on careers in the
> field.
I direct a college writing program and agree with both of these
perspectives on conducting research.  The problem is not whether posting
a query online is legitimate research; the problem is the type of query.
A vague query is of no use to any research project, whether that project
is supposed to be carried out in the library or through interviews.
This student, or the teacher, or the Writing Center, or the writing
group, needs to work on ways to narrow a topic and define a path toward a
possible solution.
Technology, no matter how many flashing .jpgs there are, is not the
"solution" to a poorly formulated hypothesis.
Marguerite H. Helmers
Director of Composition
Assistant Professor of English
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Visit the Rhetoric, Culture, and Travel Home Page at:
Internet -  [log in to unmask]
Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the 
University of Alabama.