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HNR 2510 Richard: Autobiographies: Getting Started


Welcome! This guide is tailored to the autoethonography project in Dr. Richard's HNR2510 course. Each tab represents a stage in the project, as detailed below by Dr. Richard:

Your autoethnography will take the form of a multi-modal project: you’ll create and / or gather a set of artifacts and genres that tell a story from your family or community history, reflexively revealing something about yourself in the process. The finished product includes a critical essay / introduction that discusses the theories and ideas informing your ethnography. This project has several parts that are due at different points in the semester: (1) an exploratory proposal; (2) bibliography of preliminary research; (3) interview, observation, and / or data analysis; (4) the project itself, which can take digital or three-dimensional form. Your final for the course is a presentation of your project.


These are a few terms often used when articulating autoethnographic research. You may want to use these terms for your own keyword searches. 

  • Constructivism
  • Discourse Analysis
  • Ecological Fallacy
  • Essentialism
  • Ethnomethodology
  • Informant
  • Institutional Ethnography
  • Memory Studies
  • Positionality
  • Qualitative Interview
  • Reflexitivty
  • Self-Study
  • Semiotics
  • Social Artifact

View the full glossary:

Have a Plan

There are strategies and tools available to manage a research project, though one approach requires little more than an Excel sheet and some planning. This planning approach is particularly valuable when the research involves primary data collection, or is done in a team setting.

Below is a sample I created for a research project that requires data collection, and is done as a group:

Notice the different phases of the project are color-coded, and that the little dots within cells indicate a due date.

You can custom-build your own research plan using the following tips:

  • Save an Excel sheet with your project name; if it needs to be shared with others, consider a cloud-based platform like Google Sheets
  • Look at your course schedule and mark the top rows with the months and weeks you have to complete the project
  • Consider a 'meetings' row, if there are other people involved
  • Down the first column, list out as many tasks as you can think of to complete the project
  • Color in each cell to indicate the week you will complete those tasks

Check your project plan regularly, and be honest with yourself about whether you are on track, or if the deadlines you placed for yourself are unrealistic; renegotiate the plan as needed to keep it relevant.