Discussion Date:

Tuesday, January 24


Participant Observation and Fieldnotes, Emerson et al. (library reserve) and Sample of Fieldnotes


  1. Read the article placed on library reserve and the sample of fieldnotes.
  2. Based on these readings:
    • What are fieldnotes?
    • How are fieldnotes used? What types of information get recorded in them?
    • Talk about the pre- and initial writing that you might employ in your own fieldnotes.
    • In writing your fieldnotes, what kinds of diverse styles and strategies might you include (e.g. realist tales, confessional tales, impressionist tales, writer's prose, inscriptions and transcriptions, recalling and ordering, action and dialogue, stance, point of view)?
    • How will your personal feelings and emotions be incorporated into your fieldnotes?
    • What will be the role of analytic writing in your fieldnotes?
    • Of what value are fieldnotes in selecting a paper topic and in your final analytic paper?
    • What are the advantages and disadvantages of using fieldnotes to document your observations, thoughts, feelings, analysis, etc.?
  3. Does anyone already have a specific idea about a topic for her/his analytic paper? How will this topic idea affect your observations and the way you record your fieldnotes?
  4. As you begin to think ahead to writing fieldnotes, what are the most important lessons that you have learned from the readings and from this discussion?
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Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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