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Paper Topic(s): 5363 September 18, 2009

Posted by Shon in 5363, Research, Rickly, TCR, Writing.
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For 5363, Introduction to Research Methods in Technical Communication and Composition, we have to do both a replication study and a micro-study.

For the replication study, I decided to imitate Maxine Hairston’s study, “Not All Errors Are Created Equal: Nonacademic Readers in the Professions Respond to Lapses in Usage.” What I liked about this study was its focus on nonacademic professions and professionals, and their thoughts on writing.

I’ve heard people in the industry say that we (teachers) were producing students into the industry that could not write; this – though I found fault with their thoughts – told me that people in the business world, detached from academia, cared about writing. The fact that teachers were being paid nicely to go into these businesses to teach employees (and employers) how to write effective memos, reports, etc. only strengthened my belief.

Reading this study added to that belief.

The study was conducted in 1981; it seems like a good time for a replication.

I plan to replicate Hairston’s study by doing a questionnaire of my own.

I’ve decided to continue looking at Hairston’s study for my micro-study by conducting interviews with participants, getting more insight into their thoughts and problems they face with writing within their profession.

I had another topic for the micro-study, which the professor liked, and I DO plan to move forward with it at some point because I think it might have the makings for a longer project.

We shall see.

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Paper Topic: 5369 September 17, 2009

Posted by Shon in 5369, Carter, Research, Research Interests, TCR.
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Well, I feel accomplished. I finally calmed the thoughts in my mind long enough to filter through a topic for 5369 Theories of Technology.

Two of my research interests are online environments and writing instruction, particularly instruction for basic/remedial writing, and I had an idea of what I wanted to write about, but I was having an extremely hard time trying to state it in a research question.

Finally, here’s the question: Is the use of online environments an effective way to teach remedial writing?

Dr. Carter thought the question was a good one, but she suggested I look at that term, online environments, and narrow it down.

So that’s my next agenda. Figure out what online environment I want to examine and then hop into research-a-thon.

One paper topic down. Three more paper topics (for three other classes) to go.