Writing Research Studies: A Look Back

When I started this course I knew that it was going to be challenging. I was prepared for this course to be much harder than the Writing Theories class that I took in the fall. This course was just as challenging as I expected but the challenges were manageable. If I don't remember anything else in this course I will remember how to research with a specific purpose. I read a lot of articles this semester about writing theories and practices the research part of this course led by my own interests and questions. This is where I did the most meaningful work. The work that got me thinking about what is going to happen at the end.
I had no idea what I wanted my thesis to be in January. Truthfully, I still don't know what for sure but the work I've done over the course of this class has lead me in the right direction that will guide me towards my end goal in this course of my learning. I didn't have any expectations for this semester other than the fact that I knew that I …

Humanity in a Digital World

It is no secret that we live in a digital world. This digital world we live in is a massive. It has become a part of our reality that we exist in every day. The articles we read this week What is Digital Humanities and What's it Doing in English Departments? by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum and The Literary, the Humanities, the Digital: Toward a Research Agenda for Digital Literary Studies gave a very interesting perspective into this particular area of study. 

All semester I had heard Dr. Zamora mention this term Digital Humanities but I really didn't understand what it meant. So I was very pleased to have the opportunity to learn more about it through these works. Initially, my first takeaway from the Kirschenbaum article was this visual image of humans in the digital world. 


As a middle school english teacher it never dawned on me that digital humanities was not welcomed in an English classroom. I welcome the opportunities to bring my class into the world. But I can see ho…

Letting Your Creative Juices Flow

After seeing the titles of this week's reading selections I was excited to read them in preparation for Hope's presentation. We are smack dab in the middle of writing our proposals and this is extremely rigorous work. It was a welcome break to think with the other side of my brain for a moment.

The Lit Review is every bit as challenging as Dr. Zamora told us it would be. I think it is because while we are considering the works that will help us with our thesis we have so many angles and lens to look through. And it is truly hard not to give every text a close read from start to finish. Knowing and understanding what you need and why this bit of information is useful and necessary to you is the   tough. It requires some serious analyzing every step of the way. I must admit that I really do appreciate the process and I am learning so much, as cliche as it may sound from doing this work.

This first excerpt I read was from the book titled, On Writing Well by William Zins…

Exploring the Possibilities of Writing Through Social Learning

The social climate in our country is the equivalent to a pot of stew that is on the verge of boiling over. I would go as far as to argue that the climate is more like a bomb waiting to explode. Students on any grade level of the academic spectrum are over exposed this environment. You can’t turn on the TV without hearing about the happenings of our newest President and the cast of characters starring in his presidency. This coupled with a country that has never been more racially divided in recent years. It is hard to be oblivious to the talks of terrorists, building walls, dropping bombs, women’s rights, public education and other hot button issues. So my question to this as an educator is how do we use this information or the world around us to teach? You can’t ignore it. Teachers can’t close off their classrooms from the world around them. We can thank the internet for that. So since we can’t shut it out, how do we bring it in? Those probing questions led me to the selection of my t…

Adolescent Fiction

This week Mary Kate selected the reading. Our reading were the following; Developing Students’ Critical Literacy: Exploring Identify Construction in Young Adult Fiction by Thomas W. Bean and Karen Moni Online Fan Fiction, Global Identities, and Imagination by Rebecca Black. 

In the first reading, Developing Students' Critical Literacry:Exploring Identity  Construction in  Young Adult Fiction, the following stood out to me: 

"First, identity is no longer anchored to stable employment, communities, or institutions. Rather, identity is constructed through the properties of individual action car- ried out—more often than not for urban teens— in nonplaces like malls, train stations, and airports. Identity is now a matter of self- construction amidst unstable times, mores, and global consumerism. "(642) The idea that identity is self-constructed based on outside globalinfluencesisn't anything that is so different or radical. The reason I paused at this thought was because of…

Preparing Your Research

I have given a lot of thought to my MA thesis project. Especially since my reasons for continuing my graduate study was to become a better writer. Truthfully, I wish I could just get an MA in creative writing. But since that is not an option for me, I have to reconsider what I care enough about to research. 

I'm a middle school teacher. A reading and writing teacher. This year I was afforded the opportunity to step out of that role and into the role of history/slash writing teacher. Making the move out a tested subject gives me a little more freedom to teach things I'm passionate about. This is a gift and a curse. Since I am not in a tested subject I do not get all of the resources as the ELA or Math teachers so I can't stay on trend and get the resources that I need. 

So, after much consideration I think I've found something that I want to research. Given the political climate of our country I have been obsessed with all things politics. The things that are taking place…

Writing Theories Under Construction

This week we read an excerpt from “Grounded Theory: A Critical Research Methodology” by Joyce Magnotto Neff in Under Construction: Working at the Intersection of Composition Theory, Research, and Practice. It made me think that reflect on why we do the work that we do. What makes us take the theories into practice. The main takeaway from me was the grounded theory methodology. The data driven principals that the methodology is founded on lends itself to the opportunity to test this theory out. Data is important when looking at the trends in writing and trying to find a way to improve both the teaching and the actual doing of writing. 

There is so much guesswork in the teaching of writing instruction because of the complexity of human activity. As a result, I think it is important to have a structured lens in which to look at the data. "Grounded theory methodology insists that no matter how general-- how broad in scope or abstract -- the theory, it should be developed in that back …