The Empirical Strikes Back

A RAD Research Methods Class for Undergraduate English Students


  • Joyce Kinkead Utah State University


undergraduate research


Undergraduate English majors should have opportunities to conduct meaningful, authentic research. This essay outlines a research methods course that introduces students to empirical research with qualitative and quantitative tools. Over the course of the term, students complete a whole-class project that models the process and then also complete individual IRB-compliant projects that result in a report, poster, and lightning talk.

Author Biography

Joyce Kinkead, Utah State University

Joyce Kinkead is Distinguished Professor of English at Utah State University, where she has directed writing programs and served in administrative roles, including Associate Vice President for Research. She is a CUR Fellow and a Carnegie/CASE Professor of the Year. Her publications focus on rhetoric and composition as well as undergraduate research. Her most recent book is A Writing Studies Primer, forthcoming from Broadview Press.