Backwards Research Guide

The Backwards Research Guide for Writers: Using Your Life for Reflection, Connection, and Inspiration

Published by Equinox Publications,Writing & Pedagogy Series, ed. Dr. Martha Pennington, November 30, 2011 ISBN: 9781845534417 Paperback $39.95, Hardcover $115.00 362 pages, 8 Figures
Buy it on Amazon.com or your local bookstore.

Backwards

Silver Medal from Nautilus “better books for a better world” in 2012

Reviews

May 18, 2012: Melanie Rockenhaus of The Linguist describes the book as “an organized, thought-provoking and practical guide book for would-be writers…her emphasis on self-knowledge and contemplative resourcefulness, or “backwardness”, is refreshing and timely. The book is well-written and carefully edited and invites both cover-to-cover reading and intermittent dipping into. Instructors and students alike will find something to appeal to their needs and tastes, and it would be a useful book to have in the library of any writing program.”

Choice, June 2012, Vol. 49, No. 10: J. Stevens describes the book as a “very helpful perspective on writing and the writing process.” Recommended.

This research guide features quotes from Buddhist monks, poets, and neuroscientists. Each chapter provides exercises to nurture curiosity itself and to rekindle the ability to use that curiosity for research.

Each chapter also including informative context about the assumptions we bring to the research task itself.

It’s called “backwards” because it starts with a series of exercises that invite the writer to tune in to themselves. At certain points, students are invited to close their eyes and watch their minds. And yes, it does work as a composition textbook. It might even be fun and rigorous and off-the-wall at the same time. This book is for writers looking for brainstorming ideas and teachers working with students who have lost the thread of their own curiosity and need to find it again.

Can a writing and research textbook have these subjects listed in the index? This one does! anthropology; anxiety; beginner’s mind; confusion; contemplative

  • creative writing
  • curiosity
  • emotions
  • empathy
  • enjoyment
  • excavation
  • freaks
  • imagination
  • intuition
  • meditation
  • mindfulness
  • neurons
  • noodling
  • noticing
  • openhearted
  • passions
  • quantum physics
  • questioning
  • randomness
  • reflection
  • relax
  • self-awareness
  • wabi sabi

 Contents

Introduction for Instructors: The Context for Seeking as Research Section I. Research: An Inside Job Chapter 1. Write About Anything Chapter 2. Meet the Author: YouConversation 1 with Ben Vogt: Wandering Research Chapter 3. Areas of Expertise: Using What You Already Know Chapter 4. Living and Loving the Questions Section II. The Inside Meets the Outside: Paying Attention as Research Chapter 5. Learning to See Conversation 2 with Bill Roorbach: Immersion Research Chapter 6. Responding to Reality Chapter 7. Uncharted Obsessions Conversation 3 with Steve Almond: Freakdom Chapter 8. Beginner’s Mind Section III. Big Bang: Form and Structured Chaos in Research Chapter 9. Take Note Chapter 10. Noodling as a Research Method Conversation 4 with Joe Mackall: Places, People, and Paper Chapter 11. Conversations Conversation 5 with Robin Hemley: Interviewing Section IV. Open Minds Invite Surprises Chapter 12. Twists and Turns in the Research Story Conversation 6 with Jill Christman: The Research Journey Chapter 13. The Research Road Map Chapter 14. Finding Your Way Chapter 15. Writing the Story’s Journey Chapter 16. Revision: Seeing Again Appendix A. Experiments in this Book: Short Appendix B. Experiments in this Book: Long Appendix C. Experiments in this Book: Take-Home Appendix D. Recommended Reading Appendix E. Source Citations Using MLA Style

Contents

Introduction for Instructors: The Context for Seeking as Research Section I. Research: An Inside Job Chapter 1. Write About Anything Chapter 2. Meet the Author: YouConversation 1 with Ben Vogt: Wandering Research Chapter 3. Areas of Expertise: Using What You Already Know Chapter 4. Living and Loving the Questions Section II. The Inside Meets the Outside: Paying Attention as Research Chapter 5. Learning to See Conversation 2 with Bill Roorbach: Immersion Research Chapter 6. Responding to Reality Chapter 7. Uncharted Obsessions Conversation 3 with Steve Almond: Freakdom Chapter 8. Beginner’s Mind Section III. Big Bang: Form and Structured Chaos in Research Chapter 9. Take Note Chapter 10. Noodling as a Research Method Conversation 4 with Joe Mackall: Places, People, and Paper Chapter 11. Conversations Conversation 5 with Robin Hemley: Interviewing Section IV. Open Minds Invite Surprises Chapter 12. Twists and Turns in the Research Story Conversation 6 with Jill Christman: The Research Journey Chapter 13. The Research Road Map Chapter 14. Finding Your Way Chapter 15. Writing the Story’s Journey Chapter 16. Revision: Seeing Again Appendix A. Experiments in this Book: Short Appendix B. Experiments in this Book: Long Appendix C. Experiments in this Book: Take-Home Appendix D. Recommended Reading Appendix E. Source Citations Using MLA Style

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s