Reading and Writing for the Social Sciences: How to Interpret and Marshal the Literature, Rather than be Terrorized by It | N.A.J. TAYLOR
Abstract: Undergraduates are seldom taught how to be a student of the Social Sciences. The lack of emphasis on teaching Social Science as a language is an oversight of many of its scholars to equip their students with the skills necessary to usefully engage the literature. Quite apart from many excellent courses in research design for final year honors students, I argue that all students should be afforded the same opportunity to engage and reflect on what it is to be a social scientist as they do its theories and findings. This note aims to empower the student with confidence in interpreting and marshaling the literature, by dipping into a select number of texts that usefully ask: how do I sustain a reasoned argument? I argue it is through developing effective reading and writing skills that penetrate texts to uncover their central meaning, rather than be ‘terrorized by the literature’.
Keywords: Essay writing, Academic reading, Literature.
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