Sample Project Narratives
Patterns of Citing Sources in Academic Papers: A Comparative Analysis of the Reporting Devices Used by English Language Learners and Native English Speakers
A common dilemma seen in the academic papers of English language learners (ELLs) involves a level of confusion concerning how to appropriately cite sources. For instance, many learners are unaware or unsure of the difference between direct and indirect quotation and may struggle with adequately paraphrasing sections from the papers they read, which may result in unintentionally plagiarizing the original source’s material. Additionally, ELLs may not have mastered the several ways in which references to sources may be indicated in their texts, e.g., the difference between integral citation (the author citation is syntactically integrated into the reporting sentence: e.g., Shibatani (2006) suggests . . .) and non-integral citation (e.g., English is a language of prepositions (Wood, 1998)). ELLs also have difficulty in accurately representing a cited author's stance toward the quoted information and their own stance toward that information. For instance, “Johnstone reports…” versus “Johnstone claims…” imply distinct stances toward the information presented after the verbs. “Reports” implies a simple process of providing information without depicting Johnstone's epistemic or other position toward it. Whereas, “claims” implies that the ELL is not merely providing the sourced information, but is, additionally, imputing that Johnstone takes the cited information to be true, even as the ELL writer implies that there may be some doubt about its truth. Given this background, the proposed research will investigate the degrees to which ELLs understand the imperative in English academic writing to invoke sources of information, to distinguish between direct and indirect quotation, to conventionally indicate those sources, and to accurately represent both the original author's and their own stance towards the quoted information. This issue will be investigated by analyzing ELL academic papers and comparing them with similar papers written by native English (NS) writers.
This project will investigate the issues mentioned above by analyzing both ELL’s and NS’s academic papers written for courses in the CSU MA TEFL/TESL program. Each paper will have any identification of its author deleted, except that person's native language. Then each instance of quoting will be identified, including whether it is quoted directly or indirectly (or a mixture of these) and whether it is integrally cited or not. Each stance expression will be noted, and to the extent possible, whether that expression accurately represents the stance of the original author and represents an appropriate stance by the student will be identified. The stance expressions will then be analyzed for their semantic, pragmatic, and discourse features. Comparisons will be made between the quoting practices of the ELLs and those of NSs.
Stutterings: An Exploration of Communication, Miscommunication, and Silence—A Poetry Chapbook
The goal of this creative project is to create a poetry collection titled “Stutterings,” consisting of interwoven poems of a shared theme which come together to form an overarching narrative. The collection will endeavor to explore the notions of communication, miscommunication, and silence, especially within the context of a rapidly advancing technological world. This is a very relevant, current issue we are facing, as technology forces us to ask whether new doors for communication are being opened, or whether our ability to communicate is becoming impeded. This is a conversation I would like to initiate through a creative writing medium with this piece.
Within the collection, my poems will bring together topics such as non-verbal communication, language impediments/disorders such as selective mutism and echolalia, and communication through technology to make conclusions about humanity and our relationships with one another. While I will be working within the genre of poetry, “Stutterings” will strive at times to uphold the strict conventions of classical poetry such as sonnets, and at times to blur the lines between the poetry, flash fiction, and prose poetry categories, thus conveying the restricted and “categorized” nature of communication.
I will begin the process for creating this piece by studying the structure and overarching narratives within various modern poetry chapbooks and linked short stories. I will research current articles and studies on the ways in which technology affects communication. During the process of writing the collection, I will attend Northern Colorado Writers Conference to network, refine my writing, and to expose my piece to a larger community. While I have not yet formally begun this project, prior preparation includes participating in intermediate and advanced poetry workshops at CSU, in which I also extensively studied modern poetry collections such as Ada Limon’s Bright Dead Things and David Baker’s Scavenger Loop. I have eight years of experience in writing poetry, and my poems have been published in journals such as Greyrock Review and Spiritus Mundi.