Text: Join the Conversation

As a metaliterate researcher you have the opportunity to not only learn about a topic of interest but also to contribute to the creation of new knowledge on that topic. Scholars who produce the information sources you use for your research are in conversation with each other, constantly responding to or building on the research of their peers. Good research does not intend to answer every question with finality, but rather to spark more questions, exploration, and further research, so that the field of knowledge can continue to grow.

It helps to think of research as a conversation, rather than an argument. While many topics are controversial and include strong beliefs on either side of the issue, research consists of a wide spectrum of ideas. Metaliterate researchers are open to diverse perspectives and take the time to consider all sides of an issue before making a decision or responding with their own contribution to the conversation. Watch the following video to learn more about how research is a conversation.

Writing your paper or submitting a project doesn’t have to be the final step in your research. Knowledge is not simply discovered, but created, and constantly evolving. You can apply the principles of peer-review and scholarly conversation to make your own work stronger.

Consider your work in the context of the broader body of literature on the topic. Did you identify any new connections? Or gaps in knowledge, indicating a need for further research?

Your peers may be your classmates or they might be a broader audience. Is there an area that you consider yourself an expert in? Have you conducted thorough and innovative research on a topic and you want to share your results? Or perhaps you have a piece of creative work that you are proud of? Consider publishing your ideas on an open platform or submitting your work for publication.

Ask yourself: 

  • How might I contribute to the conversation? Do I have expertise in an area that would be valuable to share with an interested audience?
  • Would it be beneficial to collaborate with someone else? What types of tools allow for collaboration?
  • Am I saying something new? Or just reporting facts that are already known?
  • How might I present the results of your research in appropriate ways for the intended audiences?
  • How might the audience I am sharing with contribute to the creation process?
  • What kinds of resources do I have available for packaging and sharing information online and off? Does the resource allow others to contribute feedback, or to edit information, add pictures? Or is the resource static, such as a published book or article?


You have learned in this tile about metaliterate practices and strategies that can help you become a better researcher. In the next tile, you will consider your role as a producer of information. Before you move on, check your understanding of what you have learned in this section. This short quiz does not count toward your grade in the class, and you can retake it an unlimited number of times.