Why Language Matters in Trauma Informed Research

As part of preparing for my final project, I have been working on a survey that will be taken by students and faculty in higher education across multiple universities. I know what kind of data I want to gather, but figuring out how to ask those kinds of questions is a delicate and important process. I have been working with my supervisor to look at previous surveys used to measure similar data, and find both good and bad aspects of each to guide my writing. As a writer, one thing I know very well is how much every word matters. One word, phrase, or even punctuation mark can drastically change the meaning of a sentence or question. This is especially true when it comes to trauma informed research. When providing a survey, you never know what experiences or implications the people who will receive your survey are bringing to the table. Therefore, not only do you want to carefully curate your questions so that they gather the most accurate data possible, but you also want to be sensitive to emotions and memories that these questions may bring up in the reader. PAAR highly values trauma informed research in everything they do. They are well informed of what the best practices are for carefully creating survey questions and gathering research and data in trauma informed ways. Not only will this information help me come up with the best survey possible, but it will also help me continue in my professional writing as an English major by further teaching me how the power of language can influence readers.


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