Let’s Talk Research:

We back, again –

My first impression of the research process is that it’s not cute – at all (lol). To research is to be curious. To be curious is to accept failure, or the very idea that your attempted, self-centered, intrinsic-driven, problem-question could be misguided, which of course, inevitably leads to revising your initial research question, and reframing your hypothesis just to hope the variables won’t be wrongfully manipulated, yet again. There is a lot to lose yet so much more to gain throughout the research process.

I said the research process – of being socially, culturally, and self-aware enough to externalize a self-centered research question, and to be nonetheless motivated enough to test your inquiry through the appropriate research method – is not cute because the process of conducting research is so important, hefty, and time-consuming that it becomes extremely intimidating. In fact, I think being aware of the many different types and forms of research and data collection is a useful skill to have to understand academic literature, and to properly prepare for the diverse world of writing and creation. Configuring a research question and choosing a method of implementation is apparently only the beginning ~~

As a perfectionist, I like to get things right the first time around. Perfectionism is a trait of mine – in which I’m not the proudest of – that I’ve been continuously working to dismantle and unravel with my therapist. And to conduct research, is to openly accept failure as a point of reference for redirection, which sounds hopeful yet daunting at the same time. Perhaps, this class will provide me with the patience and perseverance needed to organize, research, create, implement, and analyze. Hopefully, through closely reading and studying the various methods of research and academic writing, I’ll gain insight on how the author’s went about their research process, and how they managed to cope with constant changing variables. Something about sudden unpredictability scares the living hell out of me.

Considering the many different research methods discussed in Martin Gunnell’s LinkedIn article post, I have found the mixed methods to be most intriguing because if it’s extensive approach toward data collection. I find value in all three of the research methodologies, and their respective ways of thinking and application. Each research method invites unique layers of, or perspectives on humanity and our very function in existence. Quantitative methodsor quantity; how much of – is numeric and objective, with its origins based deeply in the scientific method. Particularly, the quantitative approach uses statistical processes to refine and display emerging patterns from data through survey preparation and testing, validation of the variables, sample identification, and of course, a multitude of other procedures (Gunnell, 2016). What I like most about the quantitative method approach is the straightforwardness of defined steps outlined within the scientific method. Of course, the researcher may have to re-visit past steps, or re-adjust their hypothesis to make more sense of the changing variables or collected data. Ugh, though, because what a fright it would be to wake up one morning, just to find out you have been testing the wrong question or hypothesis the entire time.

No need to worry, because the qualitative method approach “derives the research process from the collected data (Gunnell, 2016).” Thus, making the qualitative research process itself free of rigid rules and procedures. Although I’m a fan of step-by-step directions, I find comfort in the freedom of exploration and discovery experienced throughout the qualitative research method process. The qualitative methods, with its origins in using unstructured processes of data collection to understand human motive, interaction, and behavior, seems to better suit and support my interest as a fictional, creative writer. The interpersonal ambiguity of qualitative research allows for multiple interpretations to exist, and in return, the collected data could help me fabricate future fictional characters around a personally motivated, and well-researched question that could potentially be the overall theme of the short story.

As for the CARS model, designed and directed toward revising introductions, is an organized, proofreading writing guide to assure that all essential parts of a scholarly introduction are appropriately met and addressed. The CARS model seems to uncomplicate the daunting task of starting a hefty research paper. I also find the self-reflective introduction questions for revision useful and would definitely take advantage of asking myself such crucial questions to refine my research proposal.

The process of forming a research question and choosing the best method for data collection is where all the magic of discovery begins. Forming and finalizing an appropriate research question is a separate process that ultimately precedes the research process. Doubt and self-awareness must come before research implementation and deep analysis. I suppose academic researchers love the thrill of chasing knowledge, or the notion of being an active problem-solver or solution-seeker. I certainly applaud their diligence in the matter.

XOXO,

Francesca Di Fabio 🙂

Blog #2 Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research ft. cars model

Truth be told, before I started reading this I thought to myself, “Wow I am going to understand nothing”. However, most of the writing was very well written and I understood almost most of it. So for that, I thank the author for such clear and concise writing. The author was pretty straight  to the point in terms of acknowledging what would be discussed in the later paragraphs. Quantitative, qualitative, and the morphing of those two being, mixed methods research. From what I have concurred, these three methods are crucial approaches when it comes to research. I say research as a general statement because from my own findings or shall I say research, I noticed that these methodologies can be used for everyday purposes. We have quantitative research that uses experimental and non-experimental designs to collect data of a generalized population. The use of surveys and structured interviews provide essential data, however the collection must be valid. For example, asking interviewees the same questions as the other, so the outcomes are consistent and not confusing. Just from those few paragraphs, a step into research started to feel more comfortable and familiar.

We then moved on to qualitative research which studies emotions, relationships, and personal experience. Personally, when I saw the word qualitative, I could not even pinpoint what that word could possibly mean. Once I understood the meaning and method of qualitative research, it definitely interested me. Qualitative research is made up of narrative, phenomenology, ethnography, grounded theories, and case studies, which is ultimately what makes up our entire course.  Phenomenology is my topic for my presentation so reading a little more about it was helpful. When the author said, “Phenomenology is more of a mental mindset which searches for meaning through perception”, it was a clear depiction of why I chose this as a topic. From qualitative research I got the idea that the majority of the data collected is from just humans, living their lives. Human beings who have experienced so many different lives from one another, so many different emotions and perspectives that make this research method meaningful. 

Mixed methods research is basically a combination of both qualitative and quantitative research but there are pros and cons. Both methods take part in different areas of research. Qualitative method is stronger and provides a good ground to stand on in the beginning of the research whereas quantitative is stronger at the end of the research to tie everything together. We also have the very valid point that Arbnor and Bjerke made when they said “Reaching inaccurate research conclusions is largely a result of bias”. We are in a world full of bias, even when one tries not to me. Especially when data results come about and researchers must conclude their findings. If any sense of bias or invalid data is given, the whole research can be ruined. But, I do see the mixed methods being a better candidate for research methods. The paper had stated that mixed methods do take longer, but it balances out both methods. Not one method is being used more than the other because at the end of the day they cancel each other out. Especially when it comes to canceling out the bias. 

The CARS model by John Swales felt like the first step when starting any kind of research. I mean after all, it is called Creating a Research Space. Firstly, I had to google what a niche was. The part of the model that caught my attention and that I related with the most was the revision portion. I felt that revision is very crucial when it comes to research because you cannot have inconsistency. The revision process asks a series of questions that I would have never thought about if not asked by my professor. But I also have to remember that this is not undergraduate anymore, research now is scholarly. Other scholars can stumble upon your research one day and turn it into a lecture or this research makes a positive difference in the English community.

track 02. in the mix

  My impressions on the different kinds of research have been kind of challenged and uprooted in a very positive way this past week. Starting with our discussion in class, I noticed just how skewed my bias was towards quantitative research due to it being the primary research method I used in undergrad. Through Dr. Zamora’s guidance and my colleagues’ insightful answers in the collaborative notes for the week, I was able to reframe my mindset to be more open to the different kinds of research one could do. I spoke with the one who’s soul is inextricable from my own after the class and told him how the discussion helped me reframe my mindset: we are in this program to write and be creative, so a quantitative approach shouldn’t be the end all be all. Although I don’t personally believe that it is, being back in an academic program caused me to subconsciously revert to the mode of thinking I used in my undergrad days, causing me to see a lot of myself in James P. Purdy and Joyce R. Walker’s Liminal Spaces and Research Identity: The Construction of Introductory Composition Students as Researchers, specifically when they discuss “…students [moving] through their academic careers…[developing] disassociated personal and academic research identities” (28). However, although this is all accurate to me, I do believe there is still a lot of good in quantitative research. By virtue of the fact that it utilizes tangible data, it can directly show cause and effect, but due to the “rigid method of inquiry” normally associated with quantitative research, a lot of human error and biases can be excluded from these findings (Gunnell).

  On the other hand, qualitative research attempts to remedy this disconnection by focusing on the human side more than the statistical, and in doing so can offer answers to “understand complex issues” albeit at the risk of being “subjective and biased” (Gunnell). I think that a big strength of qualitative research, however, lies in its ability to not only ask more complex questions, but find different ways to answer them. This speaks to the complexity of humans themselves, and I feel can provide more fulfilling answers to research questions. Due to both the strengths and pitfalls of both quantitative and qualitative research, I feel that a mixed method approach would be something I would be interested in attempting moving forward. I think that by mixing different methods, researchers can really get to the heart of their burning questions without having to (for lack of better words) sacrifice the humanity in their research; mixed method research seems to be the best way to continually keep my research self-centered while also allowing for there to be tangible data to back my claims. As for the CARS model, I feel like it will be an invaluable tool moving forward in this program, not only for finding articles that can help me with my own research, but also to check my own writing to see if I have all my ducks in a row.

  I wrote this blog post while listening to MF DOOM’s Metal Fingers Presents: Special Herbs, the Box Set: Vol. 0-9. Sadly, I cannot tell you how many volumes deep in I got, but the music did help facilitate my thinking process while also continually having me nod my head to the beats.

All About Myself

A PEACEFUL PICTURE IN MY HOMETOWN

As I think that everybody in the class already knows, I am an international student from Viet Nam. I’ve just graduated with my bachelor degree, then flew to the US 2 weeks ago. To be honest, this is my first time outside my country so it is all new to me ( like I was born again 🙂 ) . With lots of trouble here over and over again, I struggle to face it all. Fortunately, I have some friends here to help me deal with it. Although some matters are still unaddressed which lead me to be overwhelmed and disheartened sometimes, I always keep thinking about my bright career in the future to overcome them all.

After my study here, I would come back to my hometown and work as an English teacher. I am aware that a professional English teacher plays an important role in my country where the mother tongue is Vietnamese and English is not popular. In this era, integrating into the international economy is essential for developing countries, so frequent use of the English language is crucial.


Research brings me lots of benefits like: it will help me to grab knowledge, bring new ideas to my studies, enhance your knowledge as well as clarify my doubts. It makes me a good thinker. However, it is kind of difficult to swallow these studies because of high level theories. That is the reason why I find myself needing to take time to get into this and always keep thinking to strive my best in mind.

What is research?

Starting a new semester can be exciting, but it can also be draining (perhaps in invisible ways that are unforeseen). This is the case, even if we start new seasons of life with a positive attitude. It is important to me to know the energy level of the room. I think it is a significant “life skill” to consider where people might be coming from. With this in mind, I am grateful for our weekly check-ins. You shared some telling metaphors about how you feel at Week 2 of this Spring semester:

The grad school path you have chosen will not always be easy, but remember that challenges are opportunities in disguise. The trick is in enjoying the learning process. I hope we can continue to have insightful discussions like the ones we started with last night. Your first impressions of what research might be revealed many important insights: -research is discovery, -research is the pursuit of truth, -research can be life changing, and -research is a way of thinking, …deeply. Research yields new knowledge, and it can open up new possibilities in this dynamic world. Anyone can do research.

I am glad we settled the first part of our Course Calendar negotiation – we now know all of your presentation dates, and your the research methodology you will cover for the seminar group. What remains is your own selection of the specific reading(s) for your presentation. Please email me the following information pertaining to your own presentation – the name of your selected article and the link. In addition, please insert the article name and that link into our Calendar worksheet.

Your to-do list for next week:

Read

Please read the following two selections:

Research methodologies. A comparison of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods

Swales & the CARS Model

Write

Please write your second blog (due before 9am on 2/1). What are your impressions regarding the differences between quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods? What are your thoughts on the CARS model? Any new reflections of the research process?

Send

Please email me the name of the article (and the link) of your chosen reading for your own seminar presentation. In addition, please insert this article name and the link into the Calendar worksheet.

See you next week for continued discussion and further community building!

Who Am I?

“What a way to start anew
To shed your skin and find the old you

Everybody wants to get famous
But you just want to dance in a basement
You don’t care if anyone is watching
Just as long as you stay in motion” – The Menzingers After the Party.

Who am I? I am the quintessential late bloomer. I’ve missed every single one of my developmental milestones. I’m the loser, the underdog, the one who never should have made it this far.

I’ve dropped out of middle school once, high school twice, and college more times than I can count. With that being said I have a high school diploma, an Associate’s Degree, a Bachelor’s Degree, and I am working on my Master’s.

I’ve had terrible social anxiety since I was in preschool. My depression took longer to rear it’s ugly head, but now it’s here to stay for good. My dad abandoned the family when I was 13 and before that he tried to poison my mom with rat poison when I was a little kid. Unrelated to this, my mom survived breast cancer many years later.

These hardships weren’t enough for the universe as my mom got run over by a truck about 6 years ago and lost part of her leg. Still more tragedy ensued when I lost my best friend to suicide 3 years ago.

All of these awful things have shaped my life in profound ways. It’s probably why I write poetry and definitely why I consume philosophy specially about the search for meaning in a meaningless world.

I am anti capitalist, anti authority. I believe society is fundamentally flawed and we are chasing all the wrong things in an effort to destroy the only planet we have. I love music, anime, video games, poetry, and skateboarding. I forgot to take my Paxil for the last 2 days and since I’m on 40 mgs, I already feel the withdrawals. Does anyone know what I’m talking about when I say I am getting the “brain zaps”? Fun stuff.

As far as my feelings on research. I hate and love it. I hate academic research when you have to pick from topics that you don’t care about. I love research on things like UFOs. For those unaware, UFOs are real and the cover up is real. The disclosure movement has reached Congress and is moving at a rapid pace. My home base for UFO research is the subreddit r/UFOs.

At first I didn’t really consider my interest in UFOs as research. I felt I was just learning about a topic that many don’t take seriously. I’ve been following the UFO subreddit for about 6 years now. In that time, I have seen many videos, statements, and claims about UFOs. Instead of taking these at face value, the UFO reddit community puts these through rigorous scrutiny.

At this point in time, I have learned what sources can be trusted and what sources are lying or disinformation agents. This topic is so fun and interesting, that I never considered I am doing research. But I have come to see the methods that myself and other users employ to get to the bottom of these claims. The most helpful thing is that there are so many skeptics so it’s important to vet sources and figure out what is real and what is fake.

Rather than accepting everything as true, I have learned to carefully sort through information on UFOs using research methods. The most amazing thing is that as time goes on, more things come to like. For example, there was someone in the military who anonamously posted on reddit about a UFO encounter from the early 2000’s. About 6 or 7 years after this post, official military footage was leaked that confirmed that this person was telling the truth.

It’s so funny how I thought I always hated research and didn’t realize that I was doing UFO research for so many years without realizing it. It was too fun and exciting. How could it be the same as the dull, boring research that they forced us to do in school?

The Research Road Ahead: From Mesozoic to Modern

As some of you know, I was a high school English teacher for many years, but left the profession in 2022. While searching for a new job, it became glaringly apparent that a master’s degree would be essential to securing any of the jobs that paid well and were of interest to me. Although I eventually got a job at Kean without a master’s degree, I decided to pursue an M.A. in order to both increase my job prospects and challenge myself intellectually. I chose the English and Writing Studies Program because I have a B.A. in English, taught English, and want to continue exploring what the English language has to offer from different perspectives. Getting a master’s degree has been a goal of mine for a very long time, but one of the reasons that I left teaching was to achieve better work-life balance. In keeping with that goal, I am only taking one graduate class at a time. Although most of you will be finished with this program while I am still plodding along, I will hopefully be able to stick with it. 

As for my research identity, I’m going to come clean here–the only time I have ever had to write a research paper from start to finish was in high school, and things have changed dramatically since then! The last time I actually had to do research for academic purposes was in college. In college, any research I needed to do was done in the library, which had books, not computers. That was a VERY long time ago, and a lot has changed since then. The way that information is now stored, shared, and accessed is wildly different from what it was when I last did in-depth research. Now that I am facing the prospect of writing a research proposal decades after completing college, I feel like a dinosaur. Fortunately, according to Dr. Zamora’s first post on our class website, we will be learning about foundational research methodologies and “engag[ing] in active and formal research processes.” I’m grateful to have this opportunity to bring my knowledge into the twenty-first century and prepare to take on any research projects to come.

About Me

My name is Brittney Kennedy, and I am new to the MA Writing program. Outside of being a newbie, I recently finished my undergraduate degree in December, studying elementary education and writing. With that being said, this is quite a transitional period for me. Going from writing lesson plans with children in mind to now having the workload of a graduate student, deep diving into writing, is quite daunting.

Even so, I decided to join this program, if I’m being honest, because I wanted two more years to keep a big girl job at bay. I’m not ready to start teaching, and I don’t feel I have the confidence yet. With those feelings, I decided to apply for this program since I like writing. As a blogger, I’ve enjoyed writing for many years, and with my undergrad being in writing, this felt right. With this degree, I believe I can forge into my career as a creative writing teacher. Or, if I no longer want to teach, I can be an editor or writer, work on a marketing team, or do anything my heart desires. This is just a pathway to open more doors for me.

I would describe my relationship with research as positive, depending on what I’m researching. Obviously, if it’s something I have absolutely no interest in, researching it will feel more tedious. On the flip side, researching about things I’m interested in can be fun. I view research as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and others. There’s so much I or the world wouldn’t know if people hadn’t done the research, so I try to always come from a place of gratitude. The work can be grueling, but the payoff can be pretty fulfilling.

Going into this class, I don’t know how to feel, to be honest. I’ve heard it’s an intense class, and I won’t argue. However, I’m looking forward to seeing what it’ll entail. I want to avoid putting energy into the atmosphere about how things will be, but instead, just wait and see. Hopefully, my optimistic outlook on research will come in handy once things pick up and get more intense.

About Me

Brick City | Fallout Fanon Wiki | Fandom

Hello Again, Reader,

I am a graduate student, Valerie Allen, here at Kean University, born and raised in the “brick” city of Newark, NJ. Before that, I completed what I began over thirty years ago as a proud undergraduate at Kean and graduated in May 2023 with honors (cum laude and Dean’s list).

In addition to being a full-time graduate student with a passion for educating and concentrating on M.A. English and Writing Studies, I am also one of the best graduate assistants for Kean University’s M.A. English Writing Studies Program.

Mother of two remarkable sons, Christopher (eldest) and Daniel (latter), and grandmother of five beautiful grandchildren: Adriana, Alana, Calla, Kaleb, and Kerian, who are growing up so healthy and strong every day.

When I am not in class, practicing and working hard on my assignments, or in the office assisting, I often enjoy relaxing, eating, shopping, and catching the latest films with my last-born son. He brings so much joy to my life.

My interest in English and writing dates back to my elementary through high school years, where I excelled in reading, spelling, and writing. When I was in junior high, I was one of a few students selected to attend an advanced junior high school at Project Link in Newark, NJ (such advanced-level classes in language arts were not available in the regular elementary to junior high school) and earned A’s.

In the realm of English, I have developed a special interest in the field of writing and had the honor of taking a graduate course in writing at the English and Writing Studies Writer’s Retreat. I was the sole undergraduate among elite graduate students in the course.

My plans following the completion of my undergraduate studies inspired me to move directly into graduate work toward my master’s in English and writing studies to earn my master’s degree. It is at Kean University where I believe I will build a solid foundation, utilizing my theoretical background and creativity as a future instructor and professional writer.

Ever since I attended the English Writing Studies Writer’s Retreat in Summer I of 2021, resulting from my true story, I have been absolutely confident about my “research identity,” Cause and Effects of Childhood Trauma, including various questions in manufacturing the framework for my thesis. It was then that I began to map out the subcategories for research. However, the downfall is that I failed to complete my nonfiction manuscript as a point of reference. Nonetheless, the hope is to finalize at least three or more chapters or all during my master’s journey. Thus, that is another reason why I am amped to pursue my master’s degree.

R.E Research and Methodology 2024-01-25 01:18:05

My name is Ricki and I am an 8th grade ELA teacher. I am in my 3rd year of teaching and I truly could not see myself doing anything else. I am pursuing a MA in Writing to enhance my instruction, but also to challenge myself and become a better writer in the process. After my first year of teaching, I  noticed the lack of enthusiasm the students had when it came to writing. I felt compelled to be a better writing teacher for my students. 

Research and I do NOT have a great relationship, we never did. The extent of research I find myself doing is a google search about a symptom I’m experiencing and in turn WebMD tells me I am dying. I do not consider myself a writer, but if i had to categorize my writing I would say I am more of a creative writer. I think I have more of a personal, blog-like voice and I like to tell and get lost in stories. When I think about research I automatically think about informational text, which I do find less interesting and would prefer to take in doses. In my mind research is associated with multiple informational texts, statistics, and theories all presented in a way that is way over my head. However, I did say I was up for challenges, so I am here and going to put my best foot forward.