n South African Journal of Higher Education - Reflections on writing up research

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



This article explores some philosophies of scientific research and their relation to research reporting styles. So-called "scientific research" reporting tends to be associated with the use of certain standardised discursive practices. These discourse conventions are grounded in a view of scientific rationality known as logical positivism which has been adopted by social scientists and educational researchers, has dominated these fields of research until recently and is still very influential. When adopting the impersonal style associated with this research tradition, research accounts tend to ignore or describe as inadequate opposing perspectives in order to make the author's results appear purely factual. Allowing informal accounting in research reports could provide a richer and more balanced description of the research procedures and interpretations of the results. Such description would be in line with a movement away from a traditional view of scientific knowledge to a more socially contingent view.

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