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Journal of Writing Research
Journal of Writing Research , Universiteit Antwerpen.
The Journal of Writing Research is an international peer reviewed journal that publishes high quality theoretical, empirical, and review papers covering the broad spectrum of writing research. The Journal primarily publishes papers that describe scientific studies of the processes by which writing is produced or the means by which writing can be effectively taught. The journal is inherently cross-disciplinary, publishing original research in the different domains of writing research. The Journal of Writing Research is an open access journal (no reader fee - no author fee). It is published under Creative Commons.
The Journal of Writing Research aims to report state-of-the art research and to provide a forum for established experts and emerging talent. The Journal of Writing Research is concerned with multiple perspectives on writing and acts as a reference for all those interested in the basics of writing processes and knowledge of written composition.
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- Antwerpen, Belgium
Journal of Writing Research
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- About: The Journal of Writing Research (JoWR) is an international peer reviewed journal that publishes high quality theoreti... more The Journal of Writing Research (JoWR) is an international peer reviewed journal that publishes high quality theoretical, empirical, and review papers covering the broad spectrum of writing research: http://www.jowr.org (The Journal of Writing Research (JoWR) is an international peer reviewed journal that publishes high quality theoretical, empirical, and review papers covering the broad spectrum of writing research: http://www.jowr.org) edit
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Research Interests: Basic/Developmental Writing , Writing Studies , and Listening and Writing Skills ()
Research interests: writing studies , cognitive processes , and copy task (), research interests: writing studies , writing pedagogy , and observational learning (), research interests: writing studies (), research interests: functional mri , writing studies , and spelling (), research interests: peer assessment and writing studies (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2010.02.01.1, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol2_1/klein_kirkpat rick_2010_2_1_abstract.html, page numbers: 1-46, publication date: 2010, publication name: journal of writing research, research interests: corpus linguistics and writing studies (), research interests: plagiarism detection and writing studies (), research interests: writing studies , error correction coding , editing , cognitive processes , keystroke logging , and inputlog, keystroke logging (), research interests: writing studies and error correction coding (), research interests: writing (), research interests: basic/developmental writing and writing (), research interests: gender studies and writing studies (), research interests: writing studies and writing assessment (), research interests: writing studies and metaphor (), research interests: writing studies and collaborative writing (), research interests: second language writing , writing studies , and thinking-aloud protocol (), research interests: writing studies and peer review (), research interests: writing studies , peer review , and computational linguistics & nlp (), research interests: professional communication , writing studies , and communicating bad news (), research interests: writing studies and essays (), research interests: translation studies (), research interests: cognitive psychology , professional writing , writing studies , digital writing , source based writing , and writing in the workplace (), research interests: writing studies and eisenhower (), research interests: writing studies and intervention studies (), research interests: working memory , writing studies , and writing processes (), research interests: writing and keystroke logging (), publication date: 2013, doi: 10.17239/jowr-2015.07.01.02, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol7_1/wilcox_et_al_ 2015_7_1_abstract.html, page numbers: 5-39, publication date: 2015, research interests: science writing , english learners , adolescent writing , and epistemic complexity (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2015.07.01.03, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol7_1/waschle_et_al _2015_7_1_abstract.html, page numbers: 41-64, research interests: science education , interest , critical reflection , comprehension , and learning journals (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2015.07.01.04, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol7_1/smirnova_2015 _7_1_abstract.html, page numbers: 65-93, research interests: critical thinking , writing to learn , historical reasoning , argumentation skills , and l1/l2 instruction (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2015.07.01.05, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol7_1/ortoleva_betr ancourt_2015_7_1_abstract.html, page numbers: 95-122, research interests: computer supported collaborative learning , self-efficacy , vocational education and training , and written peer feedback (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2015.07.01.06, page numbers: 123-156, research interests: argumentative writing , writing instruction , writing to learn , historical reasoning , and domain-specific instruction (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2015.07.01.07, page numbers: 157-200, research interests: argumentative writing , writing in the disciplines , collaborative writing , secundary education , and philosophy learning (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2015.07.02.1, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol7_2/mangen_et_al_ 2015_7_2_abstract.html, page numbers: 227-247, research interests: embodied cognition , handwriting , word memory , keyboard writing , ergonomics of writing , and educational implications of digitization (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2015.07.02.2, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol7_2/koster_et_al_ 2015_7_2_abstract.html, page numbers: 249-274, research interests: writing , meta-analysis , composition , intervention , and elementary school (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2015.07.02.03, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol7_2/martinez_et_a l_2015_7_2_abstract.html, page numbers: 275-302, research interests: writing processes , strategy training , reading processes , text quality , and synthesis text (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.07.03.01, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol7_3/klein_boscolo _2016_7_3_abstract.html, page numbers: 311-350, publication date: 2016, research interests: writing , writing skills , cognitive processes , writing to learn , and research methods (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.07.03.02, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol7_3/crossley_mcna mara_2016_7_3_abstract.html, page numbers: 351-370, research interests: coherence , cohesion , elaboration , and essay quality (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.07.03.03, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol7_3/limberg_et_al _2016_7_3_abstract.html, page numbers: 371-396, research interests: questions , case study , coding scheme , writing tutorial , and writing tutoring (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.07.03.04, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol7_3/kellogg_et_al _2016_7_3_abstract.html, page numbers: 397-416, publication name: journal of writing research, research interests: working memory , sentence planning , and sentence generation (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.07.03.05, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol7_3/geisler(1)_20 16_7_3_abstract.html, page numbers: 417-424, research interests: research methodology , rhetorical analysis , text mining , text analysis , and data coding (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.07.03.06, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol7_3/karatsolis_20 16_7_3_abstract.html, page numbers: 425-452, research interests: disciplinarity , novice-expert , citation studies , and verbal data analysis (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.07.03.07, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol7_3/kaufer_et_al_ 2016_7_3_abstract.html, page numbers: 453-483, research interests: corpus analysis , text analysis , common archives , citation research , and dictionary methods (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.07.03.08, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol7_3/omizo_hart-da vidson_2016_7_3_abstract.html, page numbers: 485-509, research interests: computational rhetoric , text processing , citation , and rhetorical moves (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.07.03.09, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol7_3/geisler(2)_20 16_7_3_abstract.html, page numbers: 511-526, research interests: rhetorical analysis (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.08.01.01, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol8_1/kirkpatrick_k lein_2016_8_1_abstract.html, page numbers: 1-47, research interests: strategies , persuasive writing , internet , discourse synthesis , and writing from sources (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.08.01.02, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol8_1/chang_schlepp egrell_2016_8_1_abstract.html, page numbers: 49-80, research interests: academic writing , systemic functional linguistics , explicit learning , authorial stance , and l2 students (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.08.01.03, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol8_1/chang_2016_8_ 1_abstract.html, page numbers: 81-117, research interests: research , peer review , l2 writing , and esl/efl (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.08.01.04, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol8_1/lancaster_201 6_8_1_abstract.html, page numbers: 119-148, research interests: corpus linguistics , writing in the disciplines , hedging , epistemic stance , and discourse-based interviews (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.08.01.05, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol8_1/moore_macarth ur_2016_8_1_abstract.html, page numbers: 149-175, research interests: writing , revision , and automated essay evaluation (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.08.02.02, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol8_2/cuevas_2016_8 _2_abstract.html, page numbers: 205-226, research interests: collaborative writing , controversy , transactional writing belief , and argumentative synthesis (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.08.02.01, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol8_2/vansteendam_2 016_8_2_abstract.html, page numbers: 183-204, research interests: collaborative writing and forms of collaboration in writing (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.08.02.03, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol8_2/patchan_schun n_2016_8_2_abstract.html, page numbers: 227-265, research interests: peer assessment , revision , peer feedback , writing ability , and reviewing ability (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.08.02.04, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol8_2/bommarito_201 6_8_2_abstract.html, page numbers: 267-299, research interests: collaboration , research writing , and doctoral education (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2016.08.02.05, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol8_2/sturm_2016_8_ 2_abstract.html, page numbers: 301-344, research interests: collaborative writing , writing process , writing knowledge , and struggling adult writers (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2017.08.03.01, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol8_3/raedts_et_al_ 2017_8_3_abstract.html, page numbers: 399-435, publication date: 2017, research interests: academic writing , observational learning , writing self-efficacy , strategy instruction , and peer modeling (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2017.08.03.02, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol8_3/nokes_2017_8_ 3_abstract.html, page numbers: 437-467, research interests: teaching history , historical writing , historical literacy , historical reading , and assessments of historical thinking (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2017.08.03.03, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol8_3/ono_2017_8_3_ abstract.html, page numbers: 469-491, research interests: genre analysis , disciplinary writing , rhetorical structure , literature phd thesis , and perception of supervisor (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2017.08.03.04, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol8_3/powell_et_al_ 2017_8_3_abstract.html, page numbers: 493-526, research interests: mathematics , writing , mathematical communication , and mathematics writing (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2017.09.01.01, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol9_1/beers_et_al_2 017_9_1_abstract.html, page numbers: 1-25, research interests: dyslexia , translation , transcription , handwriting , dysgraphia , and 2 more language bursts and keyboarding ( language bursts and keyboarding ), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2017.09.01.02, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol9_1/kuiper_et_al_ 2017_9_1_abstract.html, page numbers: 27-59, research interests: higher education , design-based research , scaffolding , genre-based writing instruction , and embedding writing (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2017.09.01.03, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol9_1/karlen_2017_9 _1_abstract.html, page numbers: 61-86, research interests: assessment , academic writing , metacognition , and metacognitive strategy knowledge (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2017.09.02.01, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol9_2/limpo_alves_2 017_9_2_abstract.html, page numbers: 97-125, research interests: self-efficacy , writing , motivation , achievement goals , and beliefs in writing skill malleability (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2017.09.02.02, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol9_2/wilson_dymoke _2017_9_2_abstract.html, page numbers: 127-150, research interests: poetry , composition , social context , writing development , and poetic writing (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2017.09.02.03, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol9_2/cerrato_et_al _2017_9_2_abstract.html, page numbers: 151-171, research interests: culture , validation , doctoral education , questionnaire , invariance , and writing conceptions (), doi: 10.17239/jowr-2017.09.02.04, more info: http://www.jowr.org/abstracts/vol9_2/rietdijk_et_a l_2017_9_2_abstract.html, page numbers: 173-225, research interests: primary school , writing instruction , teachers' beliefs , writing performance , and teachers' skills ().
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The set of journals have been ranked according to their SJR and divided into four equal groups, four quartiles. Q1 (green) comprises the quarter of the journals with the highest values, Q2 (yellow) the second highest values, Q3 (orange) the third highest values and Q4 (red) the lowest values.
The SJR is a size-independent prestige indicator that ranks journals by their 'average prestige per article'. It is based on the idea that 'all citations are not created equal'. SJR is a measure of scientific influence of journals that accounts for both the number of citations received by a journal and the importance or prestige of the journals where such citations come from It measures the scientific influence of the average article in a journal, it expresses how central to the global scientific discussion an average article of the journal is.
Evolution of the number of published documents. All types of documents are considered, including citable and non citable documents.
This indicator counts the number of citations received by documents from a journal and divides them by the total number of documents published in that journal. The chart shows the evolution of the average number of times documents published in a journal in the past two, three and four years have been cited in the current year. The two years line is equivalent to journal impact factor ™ (Thomson Reuters) metric.
Evolution of the total number of citations and journal's self-citations received by a journal's published documents during the three previous years. Journal Self-citation is defined as the number of citation from a journal citing article to articles published by the same journal.
Evolution of the number of total citation per document and external citation per document (i.e. journal self-citations removed) received by a journal's published documents during the three previous years. External citations are calculated by subtracting the number of self-citations from the total number of citations received by the journal’s documents.
International Collaboration accounts for the articles that have been produced by researchers from several countries. The chart shows the ratio of a journal's documents signed by researchers from more than one country; that is including more than one country address.
Not every article in a journal is considered primary research and therefore "citable", this chart shows the ratio of a journal's articles including substantial research (research articles, conference papers and reviews) in three year windows vs. those documents other than research articles, reviews and conference papers.
Ratio of a journal's items, grouped in three years windows, that have been cited at least once vs. those not cited during the following year.
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What’s All This About Journaling?
One of the more effective acts of self-care is also, happily, one of the cheapest.
By Hayley Phelan
It was my ex-husband who got me journaling again. Our marriage was falling apart, and, on the advice of his friend, he had started to do “morning pages,” a daily journaling practice from the seminal self-help book “The Artist’s Way.”
Though I had kept a diary throughout my teen years and early 20s, somewhere along the way I’d fallen out of the habit. At 29, though, I was deeply unhappy and looking for answers wherever — anywhere — I could find them.
Once the domain of teenage girls and the literati, journaling has become a hallmark of the so-called self-care movement , right up there with meditation. And for good reason: Scientific studies have shown it to be essentially a panacea for modern life. There are the obvious benefits, like a boost in mindfulness, memory and communication skills. But studies have also found that writing in a journal can lead to better sleep, a stronger immune system , more self-confidence and a higher I.Q .
Research out of New Zealand suggests that the practice may even help wounds heal faster . How is this possible? James W. Pennebaker, a social psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin who is considered the pioneer of writing therapy, said there isn’t one answer. “It’s a whole cascade of things that occur,” he said.
Labeling emotions and acknowledging traumatic events — both natural outcomes of journaling — have a known positive effect on people, Dr. Pennebaker said, and are often incorporated into traditional talk therapy.
At the same time, writing is fundamentally an organizational system. Keeping a journal, according to Dr. Pennebaker, helps to organize an event in our mind, and make sense of trauma. When we do that, our working memory improves, since our brains are freed from the enormously taxing job of processing that experience, and we sleep better.
This in turn improves our immune system and our moods; we go to work feeling refreshed, perform better and socialize more. “There’s no single magic moment,” Dr. Pennebaker said. “But we know it works.”
I didn’t know any of this when I started journaling again two years ago. I was in a place where I would have tried anything to feel better; if someone had told me that a daily practice of morning somersaults helped her get through a difficult time, you better believe I would have started rolling.
But, as it was, I dug up an old notebook, flipped to the third page (the first felt too exposed) and started writing. That entry begins as follows: “First ‘morning pages.’ It’s not that I can’t think of anything to write. The question is, where to begin?”
So what do I write about?
This is often the first question a budding journal writer might ask him or herself. In some ways, though, it’s the most misguided — one thing journaling has taught me is that the mind is a surprising place, and you often don’t know what it may be hiding until you start knocking around in there.
In other words: Writing in your journal is the only way to find out what you should be writing about.
But when I was just getting started, the first place I went looking for guidance was the book that had inspired my ex-husband: “The Artist’s Way,” by Julia Cameron. Ms. Cameron describes the morning pages as “three pages of longhand writing, strictly stream-of-consciousness,” done as soon as one wakes. They are “not meant to be art . Or even writing .” They need not be smart, or funny, or particularly deep — in fact, it’s better if they’re not.
Ms. Cameron encourages practitioners to think of them as “brain drain,” a way to expel “all that angry, petty, whiny stuff” that “eddies through our subconscious and muddies our days.” After years working as a writer and journalist, making my living trying to sound smart on the page, this was a huge relief.
“I’d like to say here that morning pages differ from conventional journaling, in which we set a topic and pursue it,” Ms. Cameron said when I spoke with her recently for this article. “In morning pages, we do not set a topic. It is as though we have A.D.D.: jumping from topic to topic, gathering insights and directions from many quarters.”
On the other hand, Dr. Pennebaker’s research has found that journaling about traumatic or disturbing experiences specifically has the most measurable impact on our overall well-being.
In his landmark 1988 study, outlined in his book “ Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotion ,” students were randomly assigned to write about either traumatic experiences or superficial topics for four days in a row. Six weeks after the writing sessions, those that had delved into traumatic experiences reported more positive moods and fewer illnesses than those writing about everyday experiences.
How often must I write, and when?
Dr. Pennebaker’s research has found that even a one-time 15-to-30-minute session of focused journal writing can be beneficial. In fact, he said he is not “a big fan of journaling every day.”
“One of the interesting problems of writing too much, especially if you’re going through a difficult a time, is that writing becomes more like rumination and that’s the last thing in the world you need,” he said. “My recommendation is to think of expressive writing as a life course correction. As opposed to something you have commit to doing every day for the rest of your life.”
If you’re distressed about something, Dr. Pennebaker advises, set aside three to four days to write for 15 to 20 minutes a day about it. If you don’t find a benefit from it, he says, “stop doing it. Go jogging. See a therapist. Go to a bar. Go to church.”
What tools should I use?
Dr. Pennebaker is also not a purist when it comes to tools. Techies can take heart in knowing that, contrary to the romantic ideal, typing out journal entries on a laptop or even on a phone can yield effects that are just as positive, particularly if it’s more comfortable and convenient for you. The point is simply to get started.
“Try doing it different ways,” Dr. Pennebaker said. “Some people like writing with their nondominant hand. Others find talking to a tape recorder works too. Experiment.”
Over the years, I have switched up my process here and there, even embarking on an overly ambitious plan involving color-coded pens. The one I’ve come back to again and again, however, is closest to what Ms. Cameron advocates: I write three to five pages every morning by hand.
For her, the timing and frequency is essential to a beneficial practice. “Jungians tell us we have about a 45-minute window before our ego’s defenses are in place in the morning,” she said. “Writing promptly upon awakening, we utilize the authenticity available to us in that time frame.
Will it change my life?
Journaling may sound hokey to some. But it can be one of the most useful and cost-effective tools we have to forge a better, more emotionally and mentally healthy life. As Dr. Pennebaker said of his research: “I’m not a granola-crunching kind of guy. I got into journaling because I’m interested in what makes people tick.”
Ms. Cameron’s book, on the other hand, is steeped in the kind of earnest spirituality that New Age skeptics will no doubt bristle at. Yet one of the quotations that has stuck with me the most is straightforward and practical: “It is very difficult to complain about a situation morning after morning, month after month, without being moved to constructive action.”
When I started journaling, I felt stuck. I was nearing 30, facing the personal reckoning that always comes with such milestones. I was unhappily married and dissatisfied with my career. Worst of all, I had no idea what would, theoretically, make me happy. I didn’t know what I wanted.
Then journaling provided me with an important outlet for the debilitating anxiety that had come to paralyze me at odd hours each day. And besides, I enjoyed it. It was fun to wake up every morning and spew a hurried black scrawl all over those straight blue lines.
Still, I remained unconvinced by Ms. Cameron’s grander claims about how journaling could change one’s life. And yet, today, as I write this, just two years later, my life has completely changed: I split from my partner of 10 years; began a new, fulfilling relationship; enrolled in an M.F.A. program; rekindled my freelance writing career; and am planning a move to Los Angeles.
I don’t know how journaling helped me make these changes. Perhaps, as Dr. Pennebaker may suggest, it simply allowed me to purge some of my anxiety, leading to a better night’s sleep and more energy to accomplish the task. Or maybe, as Ms. Cameron would say, it put me in contact with my very own spiritual guide. Certainly, I got to know the dusty corners of my brain better, and, when I did, my true desires became harder to ignore.
In the end, though, I’m not sure I care how it worked. The point is, for me, it did. And, if nothing else, I now have a written record of the more notable — and, in retrospect, often hilarious — ups and downs along the way.
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A Practical Guide to Writing Quantitative and Qualitative Research Questions and Hypotheses in Scholarly Articles
1 Department of General Education, Graduate School of Nursing Science, St. Luke’s International University, Tokyo, Japan.
Glafera Janet Matanguihan
2 Department of Biological Sciences, Messiah University, Mechanicsburg, PA, USA.
The development of research questions and the subsequent hypotheses are prerequisites to defining the main research purpose and specific objectives of a study. Consequently, these objectives determine the study design and research outcome. The development of research questions is a process based on knowledge of current trends, cutting-edge studies, and technological advances in the research field. Excellent research questions are focused and require a comprehensive literature search and in-depth understanding of the problem being investigated. Initially, research questions may be written as descriptive questions which could be developed into inferential questions. These questions must be specific and concise to provide a clear foundation for developing hypotheses. Hypotheses are more formal predictions about the research outcomes. These specify the possible results that may or may not be expected regarding the relationship between groups. Thus, research questions and hypotheses clarify the main purpose and specific objectives of the study, which in turn dictate the design of the study, its direction, and outcome. Studies developed from good research questions and hypotheses will have trustworthy outcomes with wide-ranging social and health implications.
Scientific research is usually initiated by posing evidenced-based research questions which are then explicitly restated as hypotheses. 1 , 2 The hypotheses provide directions to guide the study, solutions, explanations, and expected results. 3 , 4 Both research questions and hypotheses are essentially formulated based on conventional theories and real-world processes, which allow the inception of novel studies and the ethical testing of ideas. 5 , 6
It is crucial to have knowledge of both quantitative and qualitative research 2 as both types of research involve writing research questions and hypotheses. 7 However, these crucial elements of research are sometimes overlooked; if not overlooked, then framed without the forethought and meticulous attention it needs. Planning and careful consideration are needed when developing quantitative or qualitative research, particularly when conceptualizing research questions and hypotheses. 4
There is a continuing need to support researchers in the creation of innovative research questions and hypotheses, as well as for journal articles that carefully review these elements. 1 When research questions and hypotheses are not carefully thought of, unethical studies and poor outcomes usually ensue. Carefully formulated research questions and hypotheses define well-founded objectives, which in turn determine the appropriate design, course, and outcome of the study. This article then aims to discuss in detail the various aspects of crafting research questions and hypotheses, with the goal of guiding researchers as they develop their own. Examples from the authors and peer-reviewed scientific articles in the healthcare field are provided to illustrate key points.
DEFINITIONS AND RELATIONSHIP OF RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESES
A research question is what a study aims to answer after data analysis and interpretation. The answer is written in length in the discussion section of the paper. Thus, the research question gives a preview of the different parts and variables of the study meant to address the problem posed in the research question. 1 An excellent research question clarifies the research writing while facilitating understanding of the research topic, objective, scope, and limitations of the study. 5
On the other hand, a research hypothesis is an educated statement of an expected outcome. This statement is based on background research and current knowledge. 8 , 9 The research hypothesis makes a specific prediction about a new phenomenon 10 or a formal statement on the expected relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variable. 3 , 11 It provides a tentative answer to the research question to be tested or explored. 4
Hypotheses employ reasoning to predict a theory-based outcome. 10 These can also be developed from theories by focusing on components of theories that have not yet been observed. 10 The validity of hypotheses is often based on the testability of the prediction made in a reproducible experiment. 8
Conversely, hypotheses can also be rephrased as research questions. Several hypotheses based on existing theories and knowledge may be needed to answer a research question. Developing ethical research questions and hypotheses creates a research design that has logical relationships among variables. These relationships serve as a solid foundation for the conduct of the study. 4 , 11 Haphazardly constructed research questions can result in poorly formulated hypotheses and improper study designs, leading to unreliable results. Thus, the formulations of relevant research questions and verifiable hypotheses are crucial when beginning research. 12
CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESES
Excellent research questions are specific and focused. These integrate collective data and observations to confirm or refute the subsequent hypotheses. Well-constructed hypotheses are based on previous reports and verify the research context. These are realistic, in-depth, sufficiently complex, and reproducible. More importantly, these hypotheses can be addressed and tested. 13
There are several characteristics of well-developed hypotheses. Good hypotheses are 1) empirically testable 7 , 10 , 11 , 13 ; 2) backed by preliminary evidence 9 ; 3) testable by ethical research 7 , 9 ; 4) based on original ideas 9 ; 5) have evidenced-based logical reasoning 10 ; and 6) can be predicted. 11 Good hypotheses can infer ethical and positive implications, indicating the presence of a relationship or effect relevant to the research theme. 7 , 11 These are initially developed from a general theory and branch into specific hypotheses by deductive reasoning. In the absence of a theory to base the hypotheses, inductive reasoning based on specific observations or findings form more general hypotheses. 10
TYPES OF RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESES
Research questions and hypotheses are developed according to the type of research, which can be broadly classified into quantitative and qualitative research. We provide a summary of the types of research questions and hypotheses under quantitative and qualitative research categories in Table 1 .
Research questions in quantitative research
In quantitative research, research questions inquire about the relationships among variables being investigated and are usually framed at the start of the study. These are precise and typically linked to the subject population, dependent and independent variables, and research design. 1 Research questions may also attempt to describe the behavior of a population in relation to one or more variables, or describe the characteristics of variables to be measured ( descriptive research questions ). 1 , 5 , 14 These questions may also aim to discover differences between groups within the context of an outcome variable ( comparative research questions ), 1 , 5 , 14 or elucidate trends and interactions among variables ( relationship research questions ). 1 , 5 We provide examples of descriptive, comparative, and relationship research questions in quantitative research in Table 2 .
Hypotheses in quantitative research
In quantitative research, hypotheses predict the expected relationships among variables. 15 Relationships among variables that can be predicted include 1) between a single dependent variable and a single independent variable ( simple hypothesis ) or 2) between two or more independent and dependent variables ( complex hypothesis ). 4 , 11 Hypotheses may also specify the expected direction to be followed and imply an intellectual commitment to a particular outcome ( directional hypothesis ) 4 . On the other hand, hypotheses may not predict the exact direction and are used in the absence of a theory, or when findings contradict previous studies ( non-directional hypothesis ). 4 In addition, hypotheses can 1) define interdependency between variables ( associative hypothesis ), 4 2) propose an effect on the dependent variable from manipulation of the independent variable ( causal hypothesis ), 4 3) state a negative relationship between two variables ( null hypothesis ), 4 , 11 , 15 4) replace the working hypothesis if rejected ( alternative hypothesis ), 15 explain the relationship of phenomena to possibly generate a theory ( working hypothesis ), 11 5) involve quantifiable variables that can be tested statistically ( statistical hypothesis ), 11 6) or express a relationship whose interlinks can be verified logically ( logical hypothesis ). 11 We provide examples of simple, complex, directional, non-directional, associative, causal, null, alternative, working, statistical, and logical hypotheses in quantitative research, as well as the definition of quantitative hypothesis-testing research in Table 3 .
Research questions in qualitative research
Unlike research questions in quantitative research, research questions in qualitative research are usually continuously reviewed and reformulated. The central question and associated subquestions are stated more than the hypotheses. 15 The central question broadly explores a complex set of factors surrounding the central phenomenon, aiming to present the varied perspectives of participants. 15
There are varied goals for which qualitative research questions are developed. These questions can function in several ways, such as to 1) identify and describe existing conditions ( contextual research question s); 2) describe a phenomenon ( descriptive research questions ); 3) assess the effectiveness of existing methods, protocols, theories, or procedures ( evaluation research questions ); 4) examine a phenomenon or analyze the reasons or relationships between subjects or phenomena ( explanatory research questions ); or 5) focus on unknown aspects of a particular topic ( exploratory research questions ). 5 In addition, some qualitative research questions provide new ideas for the development of theories and actions ( generative research questions ) or advance specific ideologies of a position ( ideological research questions ). 1 Other qualitative research questions may build on a body of existing literature and become working guidelines ( ethnographic research questions ). Research questions may also be broadly stated without specific reference to the existing literature or a typology of questions ( phenomenological research questions ), may be directed towards generating a theory of some process ( grounded theory questions ), or may address a description of the case and the emerging themes ( qualitative case study questions ). 15 We provide examples of contextual, descriptive, evaluation, explanatory, exploratory, generative, ideological, ethnographic, phenomenological, grounded theory, and qualitative case study research questions in qualitative research in Table 4 , and the definition of qualitative hypothesis-generating research in Table 5 .
Qualitative studies usually pose at least one central research question and several subquestions starting with How or What . These research questions use exploratory verbs such as explore or describe . These also focus on one central phenomenon of interest, and may mention the participants and research site. 15
Hypotheses in qualitative research
Hypotheses in qualitative research are stated in the form of a clear statement concerning the problem to be investigated. Unlike in quantitative research where hypotheses are usually developed to be tested, qualitative research can lead to both hypothesis-testing and hypothesis-generating outcomes. 2 When studies require both quantitative and qualitative research questions, this suggests an integrative process between both research methods wherein a single mixed-methods research question can be developed. 1
FRAMEWORKS FOR DEVELOPING RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESES
Research questions followed by hypotheses should be developed before the start of the study. 1 , 12 , 14 It is crucial to develop feasible research questions on a topic that is interesting to both the researcher and the scientific community. This can be achieved by a meticulous review of previous and current studies to establish a novel topic. Specific areas are subsequently focused on to generate ethical research questions. The relevance of the research questions is evaluated in terms of clarity of the resulting data, specificity of the methodology, objectivity of the outcome, depth of the research, and impact of the study. 1 , 5 These aspects constitute the FINER criteria (i.e., Feasible, Interesting, Novel, Ethical, and Relevant). 1 Clarity and effectiveness are achieved if research questions meet the FINER criteria. In addition to the FINER criteria, Ratan et al. described focus, complexity, novelty, feasibility, and measurability for evaluating the effectiveness of research questions. 14
The PICOT and PEO frameworks are also used when developing research questions. 1 The following elements are addressed in these frameworks, PICOT: P-population/patients/problem, I-intervention or indicator being studied, C-comparison group, O-outcome of interest, and T-timeframe of the study; PEO: P-population being studied, E-exposure to preexisting conditions, and O-outcome of interest. 1 Research questions are also considered good if these meet the “FINERMAPS” framework: Feasible, Interesting, Novel, Ethical, Relevant, Manageable, Appropriate, Potential value/publishable, and Systematic. 14
As we indicated earlier, research questions and hypotheses that are not carefully formulated result in unethical studies or poor outcomes. To illustrate this, we provide some examples of ambiguous research question and hypotheses that result in unclear and weak research objectives in quantitative research ( Table 6 ) 16 and qualitative research ( Table 7 ) 17 , and how to transform these ambiguous research question(s) and hypothesis(es) into clear and good statements.
a These statements were composed for comparison and illustrative purposes only.
b These statements are direct quotes from Higashihara and Horiuchi. 16
a This statement is a direct quote from Shimoda et al. 17
The other statements were composed for comparison and illustrative purposes only.
CONSTRUCTING RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESES
To construct effective research questions and hypotheses, it is very important to 1) clarify the background and 2) identify the research problem at the outset of the research, within a specific timeframe. 9 Then, 3) review or conduct preliminary research to collect all available knowledge about the possible research questions by studying theories and previous studies. 18 Afterwards, 4) construct research questions to investigate the research problem. Identify variables to be accessed from the research questions 4 and make operational definitions of constructs from the research problem and questions. Thereafter, 5) construct specific deductive or inductive predictions in the form of hypotheses. 4 Finally, 6) state the study aims . This general flow for constructing effective research questions and hypotheses prior to conducting research is shown in Fig. 1 .
Research questions are used more frequently in qualitative research than objectives or hypotheses. 3 These questions seek to discover, understand, explore or describe experiences by asking “What” or “How.” The questions are open-ended to elicit a description rather than to relate variables or compare groups. The questions are continually reviewed, reformulated, and changed during the qualitative study. 3 Research questions are also used more frequently in survey projects than hypotheses in experiments in quantitative research to compare variables and their relationships.
Hypotheses are constructed based on the variables identified and as an if-then statement, following the template, ‘If a specific action is taken, then a certain outcome is expected.’ At this stage, some ideas regarding expectations from the research to be conducted must be drawn. 18 Then, the variables to be manipulated (independent) and influenced (dependent) are defined. 4 Thereafter, the hypothesis is stated and refined, and reproducible data tailored to the hypothesis are identified, collected, and analyzed. 4 The hypotheses must be testable and specific, 18 and should describe the variables and their relationships, the specific group being studied, and the predicted research outcome. 18 Hypotheses construction involves a testable proposition to be deduced from theory, and independent and dependent variables to be separated and measured separately. 3 Therefore, good hypotheses must be based on good research questions constructed at the start of a study or trial. 12
In summary, research questions are constructed after establishing the background of the study. Hypotheses are then developed based on the research questions. Thus, it is crucial to have excellent research questions to generate superior hypotheses. In turn, these would determine the research objectives and the design of the study, and ultimately, the outcome of the research. 12 Algorithms for building research questions and hypotheses are shown in Fig. 2 for quantitative research and in Fig. 3 for qualitative research.
EXAMPLES OF RESEARCH QUESTIONS FROM PUBLISHED ARTICLES
- EXAMPLE 1. Descriptive research question (quantitative research)
- - Presents research variables to be assessed (distinct phenotypes and subphenotypes)
- “BACKGROUND: Since COVID-19 was identified, its clinical and biological heterogeneity has been recognized. Identifying COVID-19 phenotypes might help guide basic, clinical, and translational research efforts.
- RESEARCH QUESTION: Does the clinical spectrum of patients with COVID-19 contain distinct phenotypes and subphenotypes? ” 19
- EXAMPLE 2. Relationship research question (quantitative research)
- - Shows interactions between dependent variable (static postural control) and independent variable (peripheral visual field loss)
- “Background: Integration of visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive sensations contributes to postural control. People with peripheral visual field loss have serious postural instability. However, the directional specificity of postural stability and sensory reweighting caused by gradual peripheral visual field loss remain unclear.
- Research question: What are the effects of peripheral visual field loss on static postural control ?” 20
- EXAMPLE 3. Comparative research question (quantitative research)
- - Clarifies the difference among groups with an outcome variable (patients enrolled in COMPERA with moderate PH or severe PH in COPD) and another group without the outcome variable (patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH))
- “BACKGROUND: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) in COPD is a poorly investigated clinical condition.
- RESEARCH QUESTION: Which factors determine the outcome of PH in COPD?
- STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We analyzed the characteristics and outcome of patients enrolled in the Comparative, Prospective Registry of Newly Initiated Therapies for Pulmonary Hypertension (COMPERA) with moderate or severe PH in COPD as defined during the 6th PH World Symposium who received medical therapy for PH and compared them with patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) .” 21
- EXAMPLE 4. Exploratory research question (qualitative research)
- - Explores areas that have not been fully investigated (perspectives of families and children who receive care in clinic-based child obesity treatment) to have a deeper understanding of the research problem
- “Problem: Interventions for children with obesity lead to only modest improvements in BMI and long-term outcomes, and data are limited on the perspectives of families of children with obesity in clinic-based treatment. This scoping review seeks to answer the question: What is known about the perspectives of families and children who receive care in clinic-based child obesity treatment? This review aims to explore the scope of perspectives reported by families of children with obesity who have received individualized outpatient clinic-based obesity treatment.” 22
- EXAMPLE 5. Relationship research question (quantitative research)
- - Defines interactions between dependent variable (use of ankle strategies) and independent variable (changes in muscle tone)
- “Background: To maintain an upright standing posture against external disturbances, the human body mainly employs two types of postural control strategies: “ankle strategy” and “hip strategy.” While it has been reported that the magnitude of the disturbance alters the use of postural control strategies, it has not been elucidated how the level of muscle tone, one of the crucial parameters of bodily function, determines the use of each strategy. We have previously confirmed using forward dynamics simulations of human musculoskeletal models that an increased muscle tone promotes the use of ankle strategies. The objective of the present study was to experimentally evaluate a hypothesis: an increased muscle tone promotes the use of ankle strategies. Research question: Do changes in the muscle tone affect the use of ankle strategies ?” 23
EXAMPLES OF HYPOTHESES IN PUBLISHED ARTICLES
- EXAMPLE 1. Working hypothesis (quantitative research)
- - A hypothesis that is initially accepted for further research to produce a feasible theory
- “As fever may have benefit in shortening the duration of viral illness, it is plausible to hypothesize that the antipyretic efficacy of ibuprofen may be hindering the benefits of a fever response when taken during the early stages of COVID-19 illness .” 24
- “In conclusion, it is plausible to hypothesize that the antipyretic efficacy of ibuprofen may be hindering the benefits of a fever response . The difference in perceived safety of these agents in COVID-19 illness could be related to the more potent efficacy to reduce fever with ibuprofen compared to acetaminophen. Compelling data on the benefit of fever warrant further research and review to determine when to treat or withhold ibuprofen for early stage fever for COVID-19 and other related viral illnesses .” 24
- EXAMPLE 2. Exploratory hypothesis (qualitative research)
- - Explores particular areas deeper to clarify subjective experience and develop a formal hypothesis potentially testable in a future quantitative approach
- “We hypothesized that when thinking about a past experience of help-seeking, a self distancing prompt would cause increased help-seeking intentions and more favorable help-seeking outcome expectations .” 25
- Although a priori hypotheses were not supported, further research is warranted as results indicate the potential for using self-distancing approaches to increasing help-seeking among some people with depressive symptomatology.” 25
- EXAMPLE 3. Hypothesis-generating research to establish a framework for hypothesis testing (qualitative research)
- “We hypothesize that compassionate care is beneficial for patients (better outcomes), healthcare systems and payers (lower costs), and healthcare providers (lower burnout). ” 26
- Compassionomics is the branch of knowledge and scientific study of the effects of compassionate healthcare. Our main hypotheses are that compassionate healthcare is beneficial for (1) patients, by improving clinical outcomes, (2) healthcare systems and payers, by supporting financial sustainability, and (3) HCPs, by lowering burnout and promoting resilience and well-being. The purpose of this paper is to establish a scientific framework for testing the hypotheses above . If these hypotheses are confirmed through rigorous research, compassionomics will belong in the science of evidence-based medicine, with major implications for all healthcare domains.” 26
- EXAMPLE 4. Statistical hypothesis (quantitative research)
- - An assumption is made about the relationship among several population characteristics ( gender differences in sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of adults with ADHD ). Validity is tested by statistical experiment or analysis ( chi-square test, Students t-test, and logistic regression analysis)
- “Our research investigated gender differences in sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of adults with ADHD in a Japanese clinical sample. Due to unique Japanese cultural ideals and expectations of women's behavior that are in opposition to ADHD symptoms, we hypothesized that women with ADHD experience more difficulties and present more dysfunctions than men . We tested the following hypotheses: first, women with ADHD have more comorbidities than men with ADHD; second, women with ADHD experience more social hardships than men, such as having less full-time employment and being more likely to be divorced.” 27
- “Statistical Analysis
- ( text omitted ) Between-gender comparisons were made using the chi-squared test for categorical variables and Students t-test for continuous variables…( text omitted ). A logistic regression analysis was performed for employment status, marital status, and comorbidity to evaluate the independent effects of gender on these dependent variables.” 27
EXAMPLES OF HYPOTHESIS AS WRITTEN IN PUBLISHED ARTICLES IN RELATION TO OTHER PARTS
- EXAMPLE 1. Background, hypotheses, and aims are provided
- “Pregnant women need skilled care during pregnancy and childbirth, but that skilled care is often delayed in some countries …( text omitted ). The focused antenatal care (FANC) model of WHO recommends that nurses provide information or counseling to all pregnant women …( text omitted ). Job aids are visual support materials that provide the right kind of information using graphics and words in a simple and yet effective manner. When nurses are not highly trained or have many work details to attend to, these job aids can serve as a content reminder for the nurses and can be used for educating their patients (Jennings, Yebadokpo, Affo, & Agbogbe, 2010) ( text omitted ). Importantly, additional evidence is needed to confirm how job aids can further improve the quality of ANC counseling by health workers in maternal care …( text omitted )” 28
- “ This has led us to hypothesize that the quality of ANC counseling would be better if supported by job aids. Consequently, a better quality of ANC counseling is expected to produce higher levels of awareness concerning the danger signs of pregnancy and a more favorable impression of the caring behavior of nurses .” 28
- “This study aimed to examine the differences in the responses of pregnant women to a job aid-supported intervention during ANC visit in terms of 1) their understanding of the danger signs of pregnancy and 2) their impression of the caring behaviors of nurses to pregnant women in rural Tanzania.” 28
- EXAMPLE 2. Background, hypotheses, and aims are provided
- “We conducted a two-arm randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate and compare changes in salivary cortisol and oxytocin levels of first-time pregnant women between experimental and control groups. The women in the experimental group touched and held an infant for 30 min (experimental intervention protocol), whereas those in the control group watched a DVD movie of an infant (control intervention protocol). The primary outcome was salivary cortisol level and the secondary outcome was salivary oxytocin level.” 29
- “ We hypothesize that at 30 min after touching and holding an infant, the salivary cortisol level will significantly decrease and the salivary oxytocin level will increase in the experimental group compared with the control group .” 29
- EXAMPLE 3. Background, aim, and hypothesis are provided
- “In countries where the maternal mortality ratio remains high, antenatal education to increase Birth Preparedness and Complication Readiness (BPCR) is considered one of the top priorities . BPCR includes birth plans during the antenatal period, such as the birthplace, birth attendant, transportation, health facility for complications, expenses, and birth materials, as well as family coordination to achieve such birth plans. In Tanzania, although increasing, only about half of all pregnant women attend an antenatal clinic more than four times . Moreover, the information provided during antenatal care (ANC) is insufficient. In the resource-poor settings, antenatal group education is a potential approach because of the limited time for individual counseling at antenatal clinics.” 30
- “This study aimed to evaluate an antenatal group education program among pregnant women and their families with respect to birth-preparedness and maternal and infant outcomes in rural villages of Tanzania.” 30
- “ The study hypothesis was if Tanzanian pregnant women and their families received a family-oriented antenatal group education, they would (1) have a higher level of BPCR, (2) attend antenatal clinic four or more times, (3) give birth in a health facility, (4) have less complications of women at birth, and (5) have less complications and deaths of infants than those who did not receive the education .” 30
Research questions and hypotheses are crucial components to any type of research, whether quantitative or qualitative. These questions should be developed at the very beginning of the study. Excellent research questions lead to superior hypotheses, which, like a compass, set the direction of research, and can often determine the successful conduct of the study. Many research studies have floundered because the development of research questions and subsequent hypotheses was not given the thought and meticulous attention needed. The development of research questions and hypotheses is an iterative process based on extensive knowledge of the literature and insightful grasp of the knowledge gap. Focused, concise, and specific research questions provide a strong foundation for constructing hypotheses which serve as formal predictions about the research outcomes. Research questions and hypotheses are crucial elements of research that should not be overlooked. They should be carefully thought of and constructed when planning research. This avoids unethical studies and poor outcomes by defining well-founded objectives that determine the design, course, and outcome of the study.
Disclosure: The authors have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.
- Conceptualization: Barroga E, Matanguihan GJ.
- Methodology: Barroga E, Matanguihan GJ.
- Writing - original draft: Barroga E, Matanguihan GJ.
- Writing - review & editing: Barroga E, Matanguihan GJ.
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Scientific Writing in Graduate School: An Interview with UGA Alumna, De’Yana Hines
De’Yana Hines is a second-year doctoral student in biomedical engineering at Virginia Tech. She took BIOL 4300W/6300W: Scientific Research Writing during her undergraduate career at UGA, and she credits the course with helping her develop writing and communication skills she uses in graduate school. As part of her recent writing activities, she’s presented posters at two conferences, including one in which her poster got a third-place finish. De’Yana is also involved in graduate student recruitment as a CEED (Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity) ambassador.
In this interview with Dr. Holly Gallagher, who teaches BIOL 4300W/6300W, De’Yana considers the importance of developing writing skills as an undergraduate and a graduate student, and she considers the importance of broader communication skills to represent STEM research to diverse populations.
What have you been doing since you graduated from UGA?
I am currently a PhD student at Virginia Tech in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics (BEAM), which is focused on the biological side of the medical field in engineering and engineering mechanics. I’m in a program for biomedical engineers at the School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences (SBES), which is a joint program between Virginia Tech and Wake Forest University. We do clinical rotations at Wake Forest School of Medicine our first year and then we finish out our program at our home institution. It’s a relatively new program.
I work in two labs now. I work with Dr. VandeVord in the Traumatic Nerve Technologies (TNT) lab, which is focused on the impact of blasts on the brain. And I also work in the Costa lab at Virginia College of Medicine, which is focused on neuropharmacology. Somehow I got an Alzheimer’s project out of it! My current research is finding non-pharmaceutical ways to increase fluid circulation, which could theoretically help minimize the symptoms and effects of neurological disorders, like Alzheimer's disease.
How did your background at UGA prepare you for your graduate work?
I enrolled at UGA because they offered a Biological Engineering undergraduate program, which is broad and includes biological and chemical foundations. I started with a number of rigorous biology and chemistry classes, such as microbiology and biochemistry, along with a variety of engineering and math classes.
How did BIOL 4300W: Scientific Research Writing fit into your undergraduate career?
When I investigated what skills a researcher needs, one thing that kept appearing is strong writing skills to be able to write research papers and grants. I wanted to improve my scientific writing, so I took BIOL 4300W: Scientific Research Writing. In the course, I branched into a related area of research, neuroscience, when I wrote a review paper on using virtual reality in rehabilitation. Some things I took away from the course are how to fully flesh out a story about data and how to communicate that to different audiences. These have helped me to be a better researcher.
The review paper I wrote in BIOL 4300W helped me to secure an internship with the Summer Undergraduate Research Experience in Neuroscience (NSURE), which is an NIH-funded training program providing research experience for underrepresented students in biomedical sciences. After a successful internship, I continued working in Dr. Jing Xu’s lab my senior year. My first presentation in the lab was actually my findings from the review paper I wrote in BIOL 4300W. And I also used the review paper as a talking point in my interviews with graduate schools. That manuscript was very helpful to have on hand!
What kinds of writing have you been doing in graduate school?
Well, the most important thing that I've written is my qualifying exam, which I passed! The exam is essentially a grant proposal on a random research topic whether we knew anything about it or not. The topic for my cohort was bone cancer, which is very hard to work with because it’s difficult for engineers to develop preventative measures on a disease that has a high mortality rate.
In addition, I’m working on a grant re-application with my PIs, and I’ll be working on an academic paper this spring and summer. I’m also taking classes, and we’re expected to write detailed articles and proposals.
How much writing do you do in graduate school?
The writing load in graduate school is way heavier than undergrad. I know a lot of engineers try to run away from reading and writing, and that's why they hopped on the engineering path. If you do choose to continue your education, there's way more writing. Writing is 60- 70% of my time, and it's not just a short five pages that you had in undergrad. You’re writing 20 to 50 pages.
What are some differences between scientific writing in undergrad and grad school?
In Undergrad, you are presenting your results in lab reports, but in Grad school you have to develop the introduction and background section more which requires a different style of writing. I’ve learned that you need to give a story. Readers need to be intrigued, and they need to understand why this research is important. If you don't get that across in the introduction or the abstract, it may not get published. Or you might be asked to rewrite to better convey the research story.
Also, there's so much research being done, so you have to think about how to help your research stand out and be something that somebody wants to read. Of course, it's dependent on content, but it's also dependent on the way it's presented. Some really good research gets lost when it’s not written in the most interesting way possible.
Are you involved in science communication to broader populations?
I want to communicate with the general public about research because I do feel like there is a disconnect. We need more communication between groups of different economic status. People in research and medical professions have limited time, but if they could reach out to some smaller groups or where they came from, it would open up a resource for people, and there would be some progress.
Typically my goal for biomedical engineering is to be a representative for underrepresented kids interested in STEM fields because they don't always get to see people that look like me get to graduate school or even attend college. I try to show the importance of engineering and research in general.
Thursday, February 15, 2024
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Undergraduate Research in Biology
Undergraduates majoring in biology have the opportunity to enhance their learning through direct participation in research and scholarship. At UGA, these opportunities enable undergraduates to participate in ground-breaking research, often as part of a team of graduate students and faculty. In fact, many students can earn academic credit while working under an experienced faculty mentor by taking BIOL 4960R or working directly with the Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities (CURO). The Biological Sciences Undergraduate Research Fellowship (BSURF) has been established to support undergraduate research opportunities in the Division of Biological Sciences within the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. The Fellowship provides financial assistance to a student who has not had an opportunity to participate in a mentored research experience (paid, volunteer, or for credit) since matriculating to The University of Georgia.
[Re]considering the male gaze in Italian Baroque sculpture
The Lamar Dodd School of Art directs us to this essay written by art history student Gabriela Diaz-Jones published in The Classic Journal, the Franklin College Writing intensive Program's journal of undergraduate writing and research, “ Baroque Women in Marble as Intimate or Intricate.” Diaz-Jones explores the objectification of female sitters sculpted in marble during the Italian Baroque era, focusing on two busts, one by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and the other by Alessandro Algardi:
The two artworks are borne from nearly opposite contexts. Algardi created a poised, almost lifeless portrait, befitting of its likely funerary purpose. Bernini, on the other hand, carved a work that is stunningly intimate and energetic, gesturing to his secret sexual relationship with Costanza. Bernini’s invention of the “speaking likeness,” the concept of ownership regarding women’s jewelry and clothing during this period, sexual connotations of women’s hair, the myth and symbolism of Medusa, and the legacy of men’s signing images of women as assertions of ownership all come into play when examining and interrogating these works. The tenor of this paper will be that both busts, while they have entirely opposite approaches to depicting women (formal versus intimate, reserved versus dynamic) are still stunningly alike. In both artworks, male artists used sculpture to construct an idealized version of a woman, either moral or seductive. Ultimately both “constructions” are fictions, not reflective of reality but rather, reflections of the role they wanted these women to play (deceased wife of a patron, or lover.) Bernini and Algardi both brought marble to life in the quintessential Baroque style, but the “life” that they imbued into the rock was, without a doubt, not their subjects’ own.
Read the entire essay .
Image: Algardi, Alessandro. Bust of Maria Cerri Capranica , 1640, marble, 90 x 61.3 x 29.2 cm, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California (Artstor, ITHAKA).
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Helping Hand: Generative AI already is making an impact on legal research and writing
Legal Rebels Profiles
February 1, 2024, 12:03 am CST By Amanda Robert
Lawyers who expect generative artificial intelligence to significantly impact the practice of law see some of the greatest potential in legal research and writing.
In August, a LexisNexis Legal & Professional study of nearly 8,000 lawyers, law students and consumers in the United States and three other countries found 65% of these professionals believe generative AI tools could assist them in researching matters. Meanwhile, 56% believe the tools could help them draft documents.
Ed Walters, CEO and co-founder of online legal research software company Fastcase, is thrilled by the prospect of making legal research more efficient. Traditionally, researchers would have to come up with keywords and add them to mathematical strings of language that they plug into a search engine. They would then receive a long list of documents and often spend hours reviewing each result to see if it yields their answer.
“This way of doing research is clumsy and slow and often leads to wrong answers,” says Walters, who also became the chief strategy officer of vLex after the legal technology company merged with Fastcase in April.
But now Walters says lawyers could ask AI tools to pull together relevant documents, read them and instantaneously synthesize results for them. In October, his company released a new version of Vincent AI, a legal research assistant that, among other features, allows lawyers to get answers to legal questions with citations and links from verified sources.
He expects that with the advent of GPT-4 and other large language models that interact with vast quantities of text, more of these tools with similar and even expanded capabilities are just on the horizon.
“This generation of tools doesn’t really solve research tasks, but I think they point to a new generation of tools right after this that will, instead of creating statistically likely answers, understand there’s a question being asked and synthesize text to answer the question,” Walters says.
June Hsiao Liebert, the president of the American Association of Law Libraries, agrees that large language models show a lot of promise for improving legal research and writing. She says they are already useful for some steps involved in these tasks, including drafting and editing documents.
“Given how they work, tools utilizing [large language models] can be useful in modeling what the ‘average’ or ‘typical’ solution or document might look like for a particular question, since it essentially predicts words based on what it has been trained on,” says Liebert, the director of information services at the law firm O’Melveny & Myers. “It can also give users different answers depending on the point of view, set of facts or purpose. This ability to model different options can be extremely helpful and time-saving.”
Liebert encourages lawyers who use generative AI to double-check their work but says legal tech companies are making progress in addressing problems with accuracy in available tools.
She anticipates they will continue to investigate and devise solutions for other issues, including authenticity and bias.
“As these tools improve and we become better at using them, [large language models] and other AIs of the future will become just another tool that is available to everyone in the legal industry, not unlike the spell-check tool or even calculators,” Liebert says.
Legal Rebels Class of 2024
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Bridging the Gap: Lawyers trying to increase access to justice see promise in generative AI
Always on: Will generative AI alleviate burnout or make lawyers more miserable?
Head of the Class: Law schools consider post-ChatGPT coursework
e-Sign on the Dotted Line: When it comes to using generative AI and contracts, the devil is in the details
Age of e-Discovery: Generative AI could revolutionize e-discovery—but buyer beware
Rewiring Entry: How AI could blur the borders of immigration law
This story was originally published in the February-March 2024 issue of the ABA Journal .
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