|image credit: creative commons 2.0 license by Jesper Rønn-Jensen|
Students can find, interact with, and know various interested audiences while researching and writing. Peers, enthusiasts, and experts can and do give feedback to students who seek them out. In the process, students get social proof for their ideas that inspires them to advance and complete their work.
As students formalize their research findings, there is no reason for them not to take their intellectual work to authentic audiences and online communities. This is why I require my students to do more than submit a completed research paper for grading. If they know that they are actually going to submit their work for permanent archiving and access; for formal presentation at a conference, or for publication of some variety; if they know that their work will be circulating beyond the classroom and beyond the present grading period; if they know their research can in fact be a catalyst for ongoing discussion or that it can be content that others will respond to or act upon -- then they will take their own ideas more seriously; they will research better; and they will turn their academic writing into a form of professionalizing.
But students need to have some idea of where they can take their academic work. This post is meant to provide four concrete suggestions:
- Academic Archives
- Conference Presentations
- Scholarly Journals
- Guest Blogging