Sunday, April 25, 2010

Thesis Topic

Changed the title of my thesis today. Since I have already nearly completed my research project, I needed to find literature that is more directly realted to the project at hand. Reorganized my outline, but can still use half of the artciles I found. The great thing is I wrote a literature review discussing most of the the information I added for another class.

Article Summary

In this article Dyrud, Worley, and Schultz describe ways to core components of blogs. They also offer a list of websites related to blog creation. Dyrud et. al list questions for blog creators to consider before creating their blog.

Dyrud, Worley, & Schultz (2005). Blogs: Getting started. Business Communication Quarterly 2005,68(67), 67-73. doi:10.1177/10856990506800109

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Response to Swales Unit 4

In unit 4, Swales gives a lot of information on how to describing research. I will complete my research project in two weeks. I will have a lot of data and need to know how to incorporate the data into text. Since my research project began, I have been more worried about presenting my results than anything else. It would have been a bit better if I could have done the partner activities, but will be very useful in the near future. His explanation of Data and Conclusion Commentary will be of the most use. I have a tendency to make strong claims, when I want my research to go a certain way. Swales has provided a good guideline to help me not get carried away on phrase use. The most important this the article taught me was to think long and hard about the way phrases this in my research. I am certain I will need a lot more tips on how to write up my data, but this article provided a first step.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Blog Post #4: Response to Anderson and Kanuka

Anderson and Kanuka give very practical reasons for doing a literature review. The do a good job of explaining its uses and effectively lay out the elements of a good literature review. In Korea, it is difficult to find books for a literature review. Using resources from the internet will certainly make it for others to track them down. I worked in the periodical reading room my first year in university. Microfilm, magazines, and journals can all be found online now. Anderson and Kanuka do a good job of explaining the efficiency of internet research. They explain that Readability is an important factor. Researchers can adjust the settings on digital resources to make the more readable. Nowadays, gadgets like the Ipad and Kindle make it easy for researchers to take all of their periodicals with them wherever they go.
Anderson and Kanuka describe they ambiguity involved in research. It is important that the materials we use in our literature reviews come from good sources. I had a problem with this when I was doing my BA. I found a few sources that made Pancho Villa out to be a hero. After the first article my judgment was clouded and I wrote a paper depicting Pancho Villa to be a hero. This disgusted my Latin American studies teacher, who always thought of Pancho Villa as a tyrant. I received a poor grade on my report. In hindsight, the internet didn’t have a lot of information back then, if I could have easily found an internet resources depicting Pancho Villa as a villain, I would have probably gotten an A.
Anderson and Kanuka do a great job of giving examples of types of electronic research. I would have never thought e-mail or virtual conferences as references. I intend to clutter all of the authorities on my literature review topic in-boxes with a plethora of questions. This will authenticate my research to a high degree. Instead of saying this article said Chomsky said, I can just say in an e-mail to me Chomsky told me. This article was very useful. Especially since I am doing a literature review on blogging, and I will do extensive of e-research.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Blog Post #3: My thesis topic and APA response

My thesis topic will be: "Blog Efficacy in Language Acquisition" (37 characters including spaces.)

I learned quite a bit about siting sources. The most useful thing I used is how to site my references in text. I learned that if you site the author as in Johnson (2001) says.... that you do not have to site it at the end of the paragraph. In the past, i have over sited. I learned that you need page numbers for direct quotations, but not paraphrases. I discovered the format that each type of reference material is different. It may be necessary to refer to the OWL APA site often when writing my reference page. In the past I have had trouble formatting my sources. The OWL website is a great place to turn when a student needs help siting references properly.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Blog Post #2: Swales Reading

Swales article gave me good ideas when it comes to my writing. Considering your audience is a very important. As a TESOL MALL student, I am always concerned with writing at an adequate level. I have always considered myself the audience. When I read, I pay more attention to ideas than the technical aspect of writing. I have found that my technical writing skills have been better, when I am not interested in the subject at all. It is very important that I develop the skills necessary to look at things from a technical perspective.
Swales mentions style in writing. I have always been able to write somewhat academically, but have a second nature of using clich├ęs and colloquial expressions in my writing. Swales article points out some of the common mistakes that people have when writing. I have found many faults in my writing, which I hope to overcome. I have difficulty using conjunctions, connectors, and subordinators. Swales examples helped me practice editing these errors and I am sure, after practicing a bit more I will better at editing.
They did not teach writing at my high school. Our literature class was more like watch the movies based on a book and answer the questions. It was not until university that I had my first chance to write. I found that my ideas and general structure were good, but was disposed to using run on sentences and making grammatical mistakes. My writing has improved a bit since then. I have been waiting to take a class like this for quite some time and am glad to have the opportunity. These are the skills I have needed for a long time and I will put a lot of effort towards learning how to be a good writer/editor

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Ideas for my Thesis

This is my third semester at TESOL MALL. I have thought about my thesis for a significant amount of time. Luckily, I had a class called Design and Development of Multi-Media Instructional Materials, which I found to be very interesting. The most useful part of this class was creating a blog. I was not interested in blogs before this part of the course. I considered tools blogs for writers, critics, and commentators. I do not like to talk much, so the idea of having my own blog was not appealing. I was not very motivated to create my own blog, but I did. After a few weeks of using the blog, I found a way to use it as an educational tool. I like the versatility of blogs and that you can utilize the internet to help teach English. The blog provided a way for me to post images, videos, and task-based activities that I can reuse. Now that I am in my 3rd semester, I have experience using blogs as educational tools and want to learn more.
I made a research design in the quantitative research class. This design helped me focus on the aspects of blog research that I want to do. During winter vacation, I put time trying to piece together a literature review for my thesis, which involved blogging. I haven’t made much progress in writing the literature review, but have found most of the articles I need and wrote a pretty good outline.
This term, I am conducting the experiment I designed in the quantitative research class. I have completed phases one and two, making the design and giving the pre-test. I cannot wait to see if the results of my research in a couple of months. I know I will have proven at least one thing.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Blog Post #1: Thoughts on Plagiarism

The article brings up valid points. Plagiarism is a very serious issue that requires reassessment. There are big differences between Eastern and Western cultures; one of them is the notion of plagiarism. In the West, plagiarism is a violation of academic code that is often punishable by expulsion, but in the East it is not a serious offense. According to the article, teachers can be overly sensitive to students feelings and do not let the students know that they are plagiarizing (Yamada, pp.247-248). In my opinion, there is no such thing as borrowing. The author of a piece of literature should always get credit for their work. There should be punishment for students/ researchers who intentionally plagiarize. Due to the complexity of writing students do not always know that they are plagiarizing. Teachers should let students know when they make mistakes regardless of feelings. This is the best way for students to learn how to do things right.
As Yamada (2003), points out it is difficult for many students to cite references in their work. I have found that not plagiarizing can be difficult in my work. The best way to deal with plagiarizing is as the Yamada suggests, defining plagiarism for students, teaching the most common forms of plagiarism, and showing them how to use information without plagiarizing it. A great way to teach students about plagiarism is in a writing class.

Yamada, K. (2003). What Prevents ESL/EFL Writers from Avoiding Plagiarism?: Analyses
of 10 North- American College Websites. In System 31, 247-258.