Discussing Contemporary Challenges
Full course description
Now that you have identified the most important works in the field of your chosen challenge (having also selected an analytical platform), you can take the next steps. Indeed, if you have carried out a comprehensive analysis of the existing literature, you should be able to recognise the most prominent gaps, lacunae or heated points of debate. This means that you are also ready to position yourself within the field and engage in an academic debate with these authors. Furthermore, this entails that you are now prepared to communicate your potential contribution within the field of the chosen challenge to a larger audience. And that is what you are going to do in this course: write a short essay positioning yourself within the main debates of the field. However, this time there will be two formal specificities. First, you will write the essay as a group (not individually). This means that you will put together the different findings coming from the individual literature reviews, find elements in common, agree on a joint strategy and write the piece all together. Second, you will carry out this exercise in a different format. Rather than writing an academic paper, you will be posting your essay in the form of a blog to be published online. This course is connected to EUS2517 where you will continue working on the challenge you have previously selected.
During the next weeks you will learn how to position yourself within an academic field, starting from the literature review you wrote in period 1. Another aim of this course is to make students competent researchers and writers in the context of new digital technologies. They should also learn the characteristics of writing academically in the context of a blog, different from classic texts in scholarly journals. As a skills training, this course lays the groundwork for later modules that will teach specific research methods. Successfully concluding this course will contribute to students acquiring the following building-blocks of their final ES qualifications:
Will have acquired some research strategies in the domain of the selected challenge and have knowledge of some of its main scholars, manuals, series, reviews, websites and data collections. They will be aware of the difficulties to establish a constructive dialogue with other scholars.
They will have become familiar with basic principles of digital publishing and media codes of conduct.
They will have developed competences in blog writing.
The ability to work as part of a team.
Students will be able to reflect critically on their own research choices for the coming years while also allowing for critical reflection on the discipline of European Studies.
Students will be able to build databases with the works they have found
Students will be able to structure the literature into different themes
Communicate your findings in a style fitting to the academic audience in European Studies;
Give constructive, useful feedback to peers;
Revise, edit and proofread your written work building on (peer) feedback and on individual priorities developed on the basis of past writing tasks;
Understand and apply conventions of academic writing, including the guidelines set by the American Psychological Association (APA).
Frey, N., Fisher, D., and Everlove, S. (2009), Productive Group Work: How to Engage Students, Build Teamwork, and Promote Understanding, Alexandria: ASCD.
Ridley, D. (2012). The literature review: A step-by-step guide for students. (3rd ed.). London: Sage.
Hart, C. (2018). Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Research Imagination. (2nd ed.). London: Sage.