Research, Argumentation, and Writing Methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences

This course is part of the programme
Doctoral study programme Humanities

Objectives and competences

This interdisciplinary course offers students in different fields of the humanities and social sciences an insight into the entire research process - with inclusion of guest lecturers - from preparation for research to the final product: publication of results. After an overview of the multiplicity of research methods, the main emphasis is on critical reading of literature, developing thinking skills and related ideas and arguments, and thorough understanding of structures, methods, and plans for academic writing. Student are expected to be able to speak and write in various academic and public contexts.


None required.


Research work in the field of historiography: overview of development of historiography in the 20th century, its theoretical, aplicative, methodological directions and selection and uses of the sources.
Research work in the field of migration studies: combination of quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches; use of statistical data in the respective historical context; narrative and auto/biographical methods; case studies.

Methodology of literary scholarship and semiotics: the course specifically deals with the transitions between structuralisms, poststructuralisms and the discourse theory.

The quality of research work – defining the research question; practical work and use of the methodological approaches in the cases of individual research projects of students: data collection; the history of the research topic and the present state of the art; active and critical reading of sources; analysis of data and views; synthesis.

Argumentation: logics and relevance of arguments; objectivity and subjectivity of arguments; self-reflexivity; the development of arguments; proofs and discussion with arguments; most common mistakes in argumentation – generalization.

Gendered research and the methodological requirements of representation of both sexes in the research.

Intended learning outcomes

Competent selection and use of the quantitative and qualitative research methods regarding the selected topic; useful knowledge to conduct the individual docotral reserach and the processing of the data, and argumentation and construction of the analysis.


  • Perks, Robert, Alistair Thompson (eds.) (2000) The Oral History Reader, London and New York, Routledge. E-version
  • Thompson, Paul (1988) The Voice of the Past, Oral History. Oxford, New York, Oxford University Press. Catalogue E-version
  • Portelli, Alessandro (1991) The Death of Luigi Trastulli and other Stories, Form and Meaning in Oral History. Albany, State University of New York Press. E-version
  • Sayad, Abdelmalek (2004) The Suffering of the Immigrant. Cambridge, Polity Press. E-version
  • Milharčič Hladnik, Mirjam, Mlekuž, Jernej (ur.) (2014). Going Places: Slovenian Women's Stories on Migration. Akron: The University of Akron Press.
  • Qualitative Social Research Vol 7, No 3 (2006): Qualitative Migration Research in Contemporary Europe - Thematic Issue E-version
  • Barat, Erzsebet (2000). The Discourse of Selfhood: Oral Autobiographies as Narrative Sites for Constructions of Identity. Representing Lives, Women and Auto/biography (eds. Alison Donnell and Pauline Polkey). London: Macmillan Press: 165–173. E-version
  • Plummer, Ken (2001). Documents of Life 2. An Invitation to a Critical Humanism. London, Thousands Oaks, New Delhi: Sage Publications.
  • Ramšak, Mojca (2003). Portret glasov. Raziskave življenjskih zgodb v etnologiji – na primeru koroških Slovencev. Ljubljana: Društvo za proučevanje zgodovine, antropologije in književnosti. Catalogue
  • Rener, Tanja (1996). Avto/biografije v sociologiji in v ženskih študijah. Teorija in praksa, 33 (5): 759–763. E-version
  • Stanley, Liz (1992). The Auto/biographical I: The Theory and Practice of Feminist Auto/biography. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press. Catalogue
  • Foucault, Michel (1969). L'Archeologie du savoir. Gallimard. E-version
  • Virk, Tomo (2008). Moderne metode literarne vede in njihove filozofsko teoretske osnove: Metodologija 1. Ljubljana: Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete, Oddelek za primerjalno književnost in literarno teorijo. Catalogue


The exam consists of two parts: active participation at lectures (40 %) and workshops final paper (4000 words) (60 %).

Lecturer's references

MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam. Trans-Mediterranean women domestic workers: historical and contemporary perspectives. V: MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam (ur.). From Slovenia to Egypt: Aleksandrinke's trans-Mediterranean domestic workers' migration and national imagination. Göttingen: V&R Unipress, 2015, str. 11-38.

MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam. Pomen biografske metode za re-kreacijo spomina na ženske delovne migracije iz Goriške. Dve domovini, 2014, 40, str. 23-33.

MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam. Moje misli so bile pri vas doma : poti prehodov v pismih. V: MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam (ur.), MLEKUŽ, Jernej (ur.). Krila migracij : po meri življenjskih zgodb. Ljubljana: Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2009, str. 23-58.

MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam. Avto/biografičnost narativnosti : metodološko teoretični pristopi v raziskovanju migracijskih izkušenj. Dve domovini, 2007, 26, str. 31-46.

MILHARČIČ-HLADNIK, Mirjam. Historical and narrative perspective of Slovenian women migrants' experiences : social networking, gender priorities, and questions of identity. V: DRNOVŠEK, Marjan (ur.). Historical and cultural perspectives on Slovenian migration. Ljubljana: ZRC Publishing, ZRC SAZU, 2007, str. 113-136.