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 in Washington is almost as unrealistic and as removed from reality as many of the reality or trashy TV shows that I sometimes tune in and out of. In this world of "fake news" I am very curious about how we will write about the times in which we are experiencing. If fact checking and research and sources are becoming a thing of the past in politics -- how will this play out from a writing perspective. 

I am leaning towards researching social writing and journalist writing. Reporting of the news and writing opinion pieces for current issues. In this time of Twitter, Facebook and blogging how can we determine which written sources to trust? Especially when things can be shared and viewed over a million times and just because it is there or Googleable people assume that is true.   

I am sure I will narrow and refine this inquiry at some point. But I am trying to stay true to my interests. And as of write now it is writing wishing a social context-- only when my writing isn't purely creative. 



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 in Washington is almost as unrealistic and as removed from reality as many of the reality or trashy TV shows that I sometimes tune in and out of. In this world of "fake news" I am very curious about how we will write about the times in which we are experiencing. If fact checking and research and sources are becoming a thing of the past in politics -- how will this play out from a writing perspective. 

I am leaning towards researching social writing and journalist writing. Reporting of the news and writing opinion pieces for current issues. In this time of Twitter, Facebook and blogging how can we determine which written sources to trust? Especially when things can be shared and viewed over a million times and just because it is there or Googleable people assume that is true.   

I am sure I will narrow and refine this inquiry at some point. But I am trying to stay true to my interests. And as of write now it is writing wishing a social context-- only when my writing isn't purely creative. 



Thinking More About What I am Thinking About

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Ahh this wonderful thing we call the invention process comes up as my class vigorously brainstorms for our theses. I am excited, but also very apprehensive about this journey that I about to dive into for the next year (starting with my research proposal). As I have stated in my class a couple of times, I want my thesis to be an extension of my e lit project from last semester when I took Introduction to Electronic Literature. I came into the program at a weird time in my life, and although I wanted to pursue my master’s degree, I did not really understand everything that I wanted then. By the end of the Fall 2016 semester, I was in a better place and mindset regarding what I felt I needed/wanted to get out of this degree; I owe this epiphany to Dr. Zamora who has been a great light in all of this. 

Having come into this current semester from such a high point at the end of the previous one, I felt like I knew where I was going, but I was mistaken. I started to feel that everything that I had done was just useless because I didn’t see how I could connect it to writing studies. I was disappointed and hurt that I may have to set my passion project aside for some time and just do “what I needed to get by”. This was all flushed out of my mind when Dr. Zamora so eloquently explained how she was understanding what I was trying to articulate. I felt she was able to explain my own project to me in a way that I wasn’t seeing it… and it made more sense than the vastly cluttered mess in my mind.

My project is supposed to be a way into my heart about my own culture, and the gap that sits in between African-American/African people. I wanted to create empowerment through pain and a concept of exploitation to have this digital experience be at least ONE artistic vision of bridging the gap and intracultural riffs between a nation of people. While my ideas are vast in this framework, I didn’t know what to do with it moving forward. What Dr. Zamora said during our last class really helped me to put this project into perspective for my thesis and what I hope to produce as a final product when I graduate. I am hoping to bring my electronic literature piece to life in so many more ways than I had originally planned, while still having this analytical framework in print to compliment it. Ultimately, maybe I can bridge the two together.

I appreciated the comment Dr. Zamora made about a feminist approach that I can take with my project. I definitely need to think through that much more because I didn’t have a feminist mindset going into it, and so I am afraid some of the poetry already written will become obsolete, but I know there is time to think this through and flesh it out before I take on major steps in how I am going to approach the analytical side of my project. I feel it might make much more sense to stem from a post-colonial viewpoint, instead, and then hone in on some of those tropes Dr. Zamora mentioned like embodiment and inheritance. Those were some very powerful concepts that she was alluding to, and I think that if I weave all of this in with a writer identity sense then it can come together nicely.

Writer identity is a theme that keeps popping up every semester for me, and that might be the route that the project wants to go in. I mainly just want that historical aspect to be as present as possible while having my creativity and artistry through poetry shine through as well. I think my work directly correlates with identity and process, while also having that technological framework to add research about digital literacy within contexts such as this one. Maybe I can pull information about writer identity from the women that I research, as suggested by Dr. Zamora, and then fit that within the framework of what I am trying to do myself. If I start to think too generally, I get lost and so I am working right now to narrow down and get even more specific about exactly what it is that I am researching and the purpose that it is gong to play along with this digital component that I have already started.

Writing is at the core of everything that I am talking about whether it be my own writing and process, or the writing of others etc. There is a lot to be said about process in terms of writing studies and the teaching of writing, and I am trying to have this project not only be a creative vision of what I am passionate about, but also a piece of work that can be brought into discussion when it comes to writer identity and creativity in the classroom. Slowly but surely I am finding my way.

 

Peace,

Richonda