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My First Time Conducting a Study as a Novice Researcher

  • Nidhi Gandhi Hoftra University


The field of Writing Studies borrows and adapts research methods from many disciplines, including quantitative and qualitative methods from the social sciences. However, many people still think of empirical research as something that is out of reach for undergraduate students in liberal arts majors. In this methodological reflection, the author describes her own journey from believing empirical research was for other people (especially those who like math) to conducting her own empirical research study related to faculty and students’ perceptions of “Standard English.” The author’s reflection on the process of designing her study and collecting data not only provides an encouraging and honest “behind-the-scenes” look at the recursive nature of empirical research for other novice researchers in Writing Studies, but also reminds more experienced researchers, especially faculty, of the unique constraints undergraduate researchers face, especially when conducting studies that involve faculty as participants or rely on faculty to recruit participants. 

Author Biography

Nidhi Gandhi, Hoftra University

Nidhi Gandhi is a double major in English creative writing and literature and Writing Studies with a minor in Radio, Television, Film at Hofstra University. After graduation in spring 2021, she plans to pursue an MFA in creative writing and become a professor of Writing Studies and Rhetoric. 

How to Cite
GandhiN. (2021). My First Time Conducting a Study as a Novice Researcher. Young Scholars in Writing, 18, 150-159. Retrieved from
Methodological Reflections