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As a college student, whenever you complete an academic assignment, be it a research paper, a speech, or any other assignment in which you gather and synthesize information on a topic, you are participating in what is called a scholarly conversation. The term scholarly conversation describes the existing body of knowledge about a topic. This body of knowledge may include published books, presentations, research articles, conferences, discussions, online resources, and more. Your assignments are a way to add your own voice to the scholarly conversation—by reviewing what research has been done, drawing connections and conclusions from published information, and adding your own experiences, opinions, and ideas about what previous research has shown.


Image: “Speech Bubble” by Freepik, adapted by Aloha Sargent, from



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Introduction to College Research Copyright © by Walter D. Butler; Aloha Sargent; and Kelsey Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.