Inquiry-Based Reading: Towards a conception of reading as a research method

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Lina Hauge Katan, Charlotte Andreas Baarts

Reading is an activity in which both researchers and students invest immense time and energy. However, reading is disregarded as a research method and generally assigned a marginal position as a mere supplement to empirical hands-on methods. In this article we argue that reading should be recognized as a method of inquiry. Based on qualitative interviews with 20 researchers from a humanities department, we explore how researchers read, and we show how reading contributes significantly to their knowledge production. We argue that the concepts of ‘close reading’ and ‘surface reading’ in addition to ‘deep approach’ and ‘surface approach’ insufficiently convey how researchers read. Instead we propose the concept 'Inquiry-Based Reading' for designating the specific orientation towards texts that characterizes how researchers practise reading to further their research. Finally, we suggest that the conceptualization of inquiry-based reading could open up new discussions about the current position of reading in methods curriculum.
Original languageEnglish
JournalArts and Humanities in Higher Education
ISSN1474-0222
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019

ID: 188878412