Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Avoiding Plagiarism through Good Research Practices

For today's discussion, our goal is to look at how effective research practices can help us avoid plagiarism and protect us from false accusations.

Topic 1: Research Practices
Here, we consider which research practices help avoid plagiarism. Think about how some of cases were accidental versus purposeful. And what about the case where no plagiarism occurred? How might an author defend his or her work against a false accusation? What documents would be needed to provide such a defense?

Topic 2: Why Plagiarism Hurts Scholarship
In this topic, we're going to look at how plagiarism hurts research as a whole. In what ways can plagiarized papers "cheapen" the work of others?

Topic 3: How Do We Identify Plagiarism?

This is a complex topic. I'm not looking for "right" or "final" answers here - instead, we're just bringing up the issues as a way to understand the difficult complexities here.

Research Sources: Primary, Secondary, Scholarly

In writing research, we have three types of sources we look at: Primary, Secondary, and Scholarly.  Although our definitions are very close to the definitions you've used for Primary and Secondary sources in content research, we apply these terms a little bit differently because we are researching how writing is used rather than simply using writing to research a topic.

For Project 1, you'll follow these requirements for your sources (minimum 15 sources total):
  1. Primary Sources (5 total): think of this as the type of writing you want to teach someone else how to do (e.g. Twitter posts, financial reports, resumes.)
  2. Secondary Sources (5 total): sources that talk about the Primary Sources, but they come from everyday media (e.g. websites, newspapers, magazines.)
  3. Scholarly Sources (5 total): These are thoroughly researched discussions of how knowledge words. (Typically, you'll get these through Milner or Google Scholar. Wikipedia citations are also a good place to learn about the scholars and keywords you can type into a Milner search.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Project 1 Proposal

The discussion for Project 1 is very open. There's no specific research component required - I'm mostly checking to see that you know the difference between writing research and content research in terms of how you'll approach you project. So describe the writing genre you want to research for Project 1, and I'll post replies to let you know if you're on the right track.

Overall: Genre, Topic, Details
The main things I'm looking for are that

  1. You've identified a genre of writing you'd like to study.
  2. You can talk about the topic where you've seen this genre and why that's important to you.
  3. You're able to give some details about how you'd research the genre.

Emperor's Soul as a Metaphor for Writing

Brandon Sanderson's The Emperor's Soul offers one of the best metaphors for the writing process that I've seen.  For today's discussion, we're going to consider how this metaphor works within our differing fields of interest, and then we'll follow-up with research approaches for Project 1.  By the end of this discussion, you should have four posts that provide potential research sources for your Project 1:
  1. A Main Post, where you describe your field of interest, and then relate writing in this field to a quote from The Emperor's Soul.  This main post should also include an attached PDF of a scholarly article you found via Milner Library.  (see the next blog post for Videos on Finding Scholarly Sources via Milner.)
  2. Three Response Posts.  As in past discussions, each response should refer to a specific point made by one of your classmates (or to my initial post), provide your own thoughts, and then an outside quote or example to support your point (see #3 below).
  3. Three quotes for Outside Support.  For each response post, your outside support can be any one of the following: a new quote from Emperor's Soul, a link to a website that you find interesting, or a quote from your Milner article (see #1 above).

Finding Scholarly Articles on Milner

Next week will largely focus on finding good sources for your Project 1 research.  One of the key components for the project is finding useful scholarly sources via Milner Library.  Here's a series of videos that use the example of Trayvon Martin and Twitter to provide tips for finding useful sources. Note that the videos also reveals some of the frustrations of research - not every search will bring up what you're looking for.  These videos are not required for the course, but hopefully the can be helpful as you start thinking about Project 1.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Twitter, Trayvon Martin, and Writing Research

This week, we have a few key goals toward developing your skills as writing researchers. In this discussion about Trayvon Martin, I'm looking for each of you to develop three skills:

  1. Identify genre conventions (in this case, of Twitter and Mass Media)
  2. Correlate these genre conventions with CHAT
  3. Select relevant quotes from the articles to support your points

Monday, June 15, 2015

Discussion Post: CHAT and Everyday Writing

In this discussion, I want you each to choose a genre that you've written recently (within the past couple months or so) and describe your writing in terms of Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT).

To understand CHAT, see these readings from Week 1:
 Click "read more" to see an example of how I apply CHAT to blogging.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

ENG 145 - Summer 2015 - Writing in the Academic Disciplines

The goal of English 145 is to help each student better approach writing in a variety of academic disciplines.  In contrast to many writing courses, the focus isn't on teaching "the one good way to write."  Instead, we use writing research to help understand how writing changes depending on context.  Through genre studies, we examine how your goals and your audience will affect the success of your writing.  Just as each professor will have different expectations of "good" writing, you'll find that every field of study has different expectations for scholarship.  The goal of the course is to help you identify the expectations of your own field and then adjust your writing accordingly.

Additional Links:

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Getting Your Words to the Page: Writing as Daily Activity

Office, Notes, Notepad, Entrepreneur, Businesswoman
Where do you write? How do you get your ideas on the page? Contrary to the "inspiration" approach, real writing mostly involves sitting down and getting the words written. But that isn't always easy. Here's a look at how we overcome distraction.
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