ME-Search and Research

Me-Search and Re-Search

A Guide for Writing Scholarly Personal Narrative Manuscripts


Published 2011

From the Foreword:
Robert and DeMethra’s book, Me-Searching and Re-Search, has caught my fancy in a number of ways. The book title cleverly captures what SPN is all about—it is about self narratives (the “me-search” part) and about scholarly meaning making (the “re-search” part). This eye-catching title also illuminates the authors’ intent to turn this seemingly intimidating method of self-inquiry into something very accessible and doable. Their jargon-free language is friendly and inviting. Although they don’t intend to make their many methodological tips and tools too prescriptive, their practical suggestions provided in this guide book are, indeed, helpful and useful. I believe that Robert and DeMethra have demonstrated admirable talents as effective educators by unpacking the complex method of SPN writing into bite-sized steps. I am fully convinced that the steps will help both novices, and the experienced researcher, to reach the ultimate height of producing engaging, and scholarly significant, SPN’s. The book is also fun to read. The authors intersperse throughout their own SPN’s, pedagogical insights from their doing and teaching, and real-life stories, in order to illustrate the methodological process, challenges, and triumphs.

PART I: SETTING THE STAGE FOR WRITING AN SPN. 1 What Our Book Is About. 2 Why Can’t I Write More Personally, More Honestly? 3 Autoethnographies, Memoirs, Personal Narrative Essays, Autobiographies. 4 Okay Then! What Exactly Is Scholarly Personal Narrative Writing? PART II: THE FOUR COMPONENTS OF SPN: PRE-SEARCH, ME-SEARCH, RE-SEARCH, WE-SEARCH. 5 How Do You Get Started? 6 DeMethra’s Pre-Search Dissertation Process. 7 Speaking to All the Me-Search Self-Doubters. 8 Tell Your Story, Speak Your Truth. 9 The SPN Way to Think About Research. 10 The Relationship of Art to Truth in SPN Writing. 11 The Centrality of Theme-Search in SPN Research. 12 Moving from the Pre-, the Me-, and the Re-, to the We. 13 DeMethra’s Use of We-Search and Universalizability in Her Dissertation. PART III: THE NUTS AND BOLTS SPN TOOLBOX. 14 The Nuts and Bolts SPN Toolbox. PART IV: ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR SPN WRITERS. 15 Our SPN Course Syllabus.16 Putting It All Together. 17 How to Deal with PSPND Syndrome. 18 Creating an SPN Code of Ethics. 19 How to Create Faculty Support for SPN Writing. References.

One comment

  • Tanya Halldórsdóttir

    A brief review of Me-Search and Re-Search

    I particularly like the research (product) and re-search (process) distinction in this book, I can take or leave the accompanying me-search, pre-search and we-search terms, but I can see how they might be useful organizational hooks for some writers, and this is where I think the value of this book lies. In many ways it is a motivational ‘how-to’ guide to getting started and keeping-going with your writing. There are various writing exercises that would be useful for researchers at any stage of an extensive writing project, lots of inspirational stories and quotes and a recognition of the messy and frustrating process of writing. It is written in an accessible and engaging style, and there is plenty of self-disclosure here too, in keeping with the personal narrative nature of the work. In that sense it really walks the talk, as it is both a personal narrative, and a text about the process of writing personal narrative. The ethical implications of this type of self-disclosure are also dealt with in a direct and I think effective fashion. I admit to not being fully convinced of the need to define SPN (scholarly personal narrative) as a method in its own right, given the significant overlaps with autoethnography and autobiography, although a thorough description and strong case is put forward by Nash & Bradley ( I hesitate to say defence, because the authors are emphatic about there being room for everyone at the academic inn!)

    In summary, whilst I am not convinced of the SPN method per se, I think this book would be useful at a practical level for those inclined to genuinely narrative thesis writing. I’m sure Richard would approve of the authors’ assertion that a “good dissertation has a due date!” (pg 52) too!