All posts by Cindy Rodrigues

blog #11 mixed methods// more research proposal updates

Well, we’ve come a long way this spring semester. We have indulged in many research methods to assist us in our final thesis paper. This week, we have had the pleasure of being introduced to our last method! Mixed methods woohoo, which kind of plays out really well. Mixed methods are essentially a combination of two methods, which we have already learned about! So, at least it’s not new territory. Truth be told, before I started reading, I did not prepare myself for the reading to be about “Mixed Methods”. I figured it would be shown in the title. However, when I did start reading, I kept noticing the word “Discourse” which had me wondering if I was reading the completely wrong paper. I digress. I believe we spoke about mixed methods in the beginning of the semester. It’s a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis. Although the reading kept mentioning “Uniqueness-seeking theory”, which once gain kept me in a state of doubt. We start with a study that involves participants from a graduate level course with different needs of uniqueness within their online classroom discussions. Since mixed methods make up quantitative and qualitative approaches, case study and discourse analysis fill in those roles. The researchers use case study to collect data, create surveys, and develop transcripts. Whereas with discourse analysis, the researchers are studying their participants, comparing, social practices, and overall a qualitative finding. ONE THING I DO HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THIS READING IS THAT, THE MENTION OF DISCOURSE WAS A TAD CONFUSING. I UNDERSTAND WHY BUT FROM WHAT I REMEMBER ABOUT DISCOURSE ANALYSIS, IT WAS RESEARCH ABOUT THE INTERPRETATION OF LANGUAGES AND CULTURE IN A SENSE. I DON’T KNOW IF ITS JUST ME BUT I DON’T THINK THE MENTION OF DISCOURSE WORKED FOR THIS RESEARCH.

NOW, ONTO THE DRAFT OF OUR RESEARCH PROPOSAL. I HAVE DEFINITELY COMPLETED MORE THAN LAST WEEK. I HAVE 6 SUPPORTING ARTICLES SO FAR, BUT IM HAVING TROUBLE FINDING MORE. I TOOK FRAN’S SUGGESTION AND CHANGED UP MY THESIS QUESTION BECAUSE MY PREVIOUS PROPOSAL SEEMED QUITE BROAD. I THINK THATS WHY IVE BEEN A LITTLE BEHIND TRULY… I SPENT SO MUCH TIME MAKING SURE THIS RESEARCH QUESTION ISN’T TOO BROAD, OR EVEN TOO VAGUE AT THAT. FURTHERMORE, I’M MENTIONING THIS IN MY PROPOSAL. BUT ARTICLES ON MY TOPIC ARE REALLY LACKING! I ALSO have already finished my 2-3 page introduction,, but i still have more tweaks, as this is still a draft. the only thing thats worrying me is the lack of supporting articles out there. my new research question is: “The goal of this study is to understand how educators in American public and private schools balance the demands of their profession with their own mental health struggles. And what coping mechanisms and support systems do they use to maintain their well-being in this challenging environment”. Now, how will I achieve this goal? A qualitative practice, as well as a personal connection would work best with this research. I will use case study to investigate and collect data from participants of this study. With a combination of autoethnography, due to my personal real life experiences from me being a former educator. As a result of my connections, I am surrounded by all kinds of educators in my Graduate Program, along with my former colleagues in the field. I have written out a lot more but this is more progress than i had last week. i appreciate all of the help from my peers. it has made this whole process a lot less anxiety ridden.

blog #10 discourse analysis

This week we are treated with discourse analysis! At first when I was reading this I was getting a little lost–but truth be told it’s the end of the semester and my brain is getting a little foggy. BUT, Tatyana Bondarouk worded discourse analysis in a very helpful way. She said “ The concrete representation of discourses is texts, or discursive ‘units’. They make have a variety of forms: formal written records, such as news information, company statements and reports, academic papers; spoken words, pictures, symbols, artifacts, transcripts of social interactions such as conversations, focus group discussions, and individual interviews; or involve media such as TV programs, advertisements, magazines, novels, etc”. I think this explanation made me understand the research of discourse but don’t understand how it’s used per say. But Tatyana Bondarouk used 5 concluding remarks to as Fran also mentioned–simplify discourse analysis. Overall, it all led back to the significance of interpretation with this method. As a discourse analysis researcher you would study linguistic features, texts,and data from the past. But personally that seems like a lot of work. Essentially, you’re interpreting language that has been collected and categorizing them into groups to build a study. The author even mentioned that anyone who reads this research will probably have a different perspective/interpretation, but is that what we really need after a long intensive research?
Which brings me back to my research proposal. After last week’s class and workshopping with my peers, I have finally decided on my proposal question, plus the methodologies I will be using. So I will be researching “How do educators deal with their own trauma and how do these experiences affect/influence their teaching methods and interactions with students?”. With a mix of autoethnography and phenomenology. I figured autoethnography would be the best option since I have a lot of personal experience to talk about, as well as perhaps interviewing my fellow teachers with a phenomenological method. I’m finding it hard to get appropriate articles best suited for my research. I even used the KeanLibrary Database but I think I just need to try a little harder than letting myself get overwhelmed so easily. I also wrote up a few paragraphs of my proposal to get a start on things but it is definitely nowhere near close!

Phenomenology parte dos!

Phenomenology part 2! This week’s assigned reading was A Phenomenological Research Design Illustrated by Thomas Groenewald. This one was pretty cool. The transition between the phenomenology I did for my presentation and this one is very interesting. We are introduced to the origins of phenomenology and basically its roots. I am grateful for getting an understanding of phenomenology first hand and now taking us back to sort of a prequal if I may. As a writer but most importantly, a poet, I admired Thomas Groenewald for breaking down phenomenology. He said that we are all basically phenomenologists. Poets, painters, and just creativity in general. Specifically he said “ Poets and painters among us, however, understand very well their task of sharing by means of word and image, their insights with others – an artfulness that is also laboriously practiced by the professional phenomenologists” ( 44). Overall, this reading enlightened me further into the research method of real human experience. Especially when mentioning the philosophical reasonings with the “creator” of Phenomenology. Reading this article, as well as all of the presentations done by my peers so far has got me thinking about my own research method. By that I mean, my research proposal and the method that I will be using. I’m not entirely sure about what I want to do but I know what path I would like to take. I am thinking about researching something that I can relate to heavily. These are the three I’m gravitating towards but I am not sure which one is going to be the strongest. I would like your help 🙂 But, the only thing that worries me is having to go out of my comfort zone and perhaps interview people. I am not the best at socializing or coming up with non-triggering questions that will lead to significant findings but I guess thats why we’re all here to learn from each other. 

  1. Educators dealing with mental illness 
  2. Can trauma writing be an alternative to therapy and other medicinal practices?
  3. Why is writing a common outlet for individuals with traumatic experiences?


I hope everyone had a great spring break! Bbbut back to reality we goo! I got a puppy! My German shepherd now has a baby beagle little brother! Anyways, this week we read “Reducing Confusion about Grounded Theory and Qualitative Content Analysis: Similarities and Differences” by Cho and Lee. I can gladly say that this week’s reading made me feel better about belonging in Grad school! Today we’re going to focus on Grounded Theory, but mostly the common misconception that researchers make between grounded theory and qualitative content analysis. I think just from the first page it was clear that Grounded theory is a research methodology and Qualitative content analysis is a strategy. The similarities between those two research methods are valid, however Grounded theory consists of many systems of research, with various procedures. As well as being very flexible because researchers can interpret and analyze their data through many different viewpoints. Now, Qualitative content analysis to me feels like physical data. It’ a method that analyses written and oral materials and puts them in categories for easier interpretation. I think what made me chuckle was that Qualitative content analysis was made fun of due to its oversimplification? However, isn’t that we are literally supposed to do with our data to understand better?

Cho and Lee brought a very crucial point, especially for a future researcher. The significance with grounded theory is that when data is being collected, researchers will start analyzing the data immediately. So, then the future data they’ll collect, will be derived from the data they have already collected. This will make all of the data consistent because you know what you’re looking for. I’ve noticed that if analyze inconsistent data, it will make the research much longer and more confusing. The last thing we would want is to pour our heart and soul into research and end up with data that does not correlate with each other. Another point of Grounded theory that caught my eye is that this method analyzes phenomena of theories that have never been thought of. It’s as if grounded theory creates a whole new theory from data collected. Whereas Qualitative content analysis describes each and everything they have collected. Explanations vs. Theories.

The key components of Qualitative content analysis are explanations from the questions researchers are asking using their “Who”, “What”, “Why” and “How”. And then when the data is collected, researchers will categorize and start establishing common themes to make the data understanding more convenient. Creating categories makes the huge chunks of data divided and sort of compresses everything. At least if research is categorized you know what to look for when getting to a conclusion. Honestly, I am glad the writers of this paper Differentiated the common Misconception researchers may have when dealing with qualitative content analysis and grounded theory. Many researchers may get confused when dealing with these two methods as they have many similarities but are also very very different.

Literacy networks blog #6

This probably won’t be my best work of blog posts, so keep that in mind please. Truth be told, reading everyone’s blog posts made me feel a little bit better. As Tyler stated, we’re grad students and 50 pages should be a breeze. However, this was torture. I guess the reason it was 50 pages, I could not re-read the paper to understand it better. Till this day, I don’t think I’ll ever really understand what “Space-time” means, or even try to understand what it had to do with this reading. Space-time continuum? I don’t even know!  From my understanding, as well as the understanding of my peers this is a research on Brian’s literacy practices in two different settings. Classroom versus outside at home in an online computer game. One thing I can say is that the study concept was very interesting. We have Brian who loves playing video games, as well as Brian who is also a student. His ways of learning varied within both. On page 315 it seems as if the research concluded that Brian’s way of interpreting/interacting in video games with strategy and memorization, plays a huge role in his education. I don’t think I ever really thought about literacy to play hand in hand with video games. Truth be told, I was able to read about 30 pages until I started to realize I couldn’t understand anything after that. I am not a slacker at all, but something about this one really got me. I am hoping that we can all understand this together in class tomorrow. I am really looking forward to Daniel’s presentation because I hate not being able to give my 100% in my work, as well as not understanding something.


This week we read “Understanding The Genre Features of Qualitative Research: A Case Study”, by Yi-Huey Guo. Going into this reading, I was making my own assumptions as to what case study may entail. I figured the meaning is in the name. Study of cases? However, continuing to read this study, it was very helpful in understanding what really goes behind case study. I had to read the word “Genre” a couple of times due to the fact this study was not referring to the “Genre” we all grew up with. Now, we have a graduate thesis and genre practice that is essentially qualitative research that brings everything together for a purpose. On the topic of case study, I noticed that qualitative/quantitative research was very crucial in this reading and was mentioned almost on every paragraph. Which makes sense, as it helps researchers analyze their data and bring them into reality. As the reading mentioned “ They seek the ontological meaning of their studies by uncovering the research participants’ life experiences”. Ontological being the key word as this helps researchers understand their collected data better, rather than trying to “solve” it in a sense. Afterall, qualitative data is knowledge through personal experience; Why would someone want to measure this data, rather than truly trying to understand their participant? However, I can also understand why some researchers/students struggle to grasp the data they have collected through qualitative research. Researchers will interview numerous participants and analyze every single data collected and have to establish a conclusion at the end of this research. And, the conclusion of that has to be a similar “Pattern” established within the data. 

We now move on to Lin, who was a graduate student that was studied for his cultivated research writing process. Lin began his research process and from the get go, he lacked a plan for his research. As well as his knowledge on qualitative research, which did not go far. He decided to seek the approach of on-site data collection. Meaning, he physically went around interviewing participants. I think it was a very helpful understanding that Lin struggled when collecting data. I think instructors always make it seem that interviewing a vast amount of people can be overwhelming. Especially, just like Lin, having to put aside his thesis proposal because he wanted to gain even more knowledge for this research. After working on this study for a year, the study still went on. On page 119, the study added “ The researcher interviewed one of Lin’s course instructors to know how his qualitative research writing might be affected  by the situated research environment and interviewed his advisor twice to know how she reviewed Lin’s thesis proposal quality”. The consensus was that Lin was struggling with his interviewees. I think Lin taking this huge step in interviewing a bunch of people his first time was admirable but it lacked important data analysis. Since his interviewees gave him answers that he cannot work it, his analysis was not as strong as it should have been. A key suggested the study did provide is that in qualitative literacy research writing out data is very useful. For example, as mentioned in the study, writing out inductive research methods would be helpful as theories can be infinite. Making notes, and jotting things down from your own brain would make analysis so much more convenient. 

Overall, I think Guo’s interpretation of a case study opened a new understanding for myself. Although, it is very overwhelming and you have to be very committed. . I’m not sure if case study is my route to take, but there are very important aspects. Such as having his questions clear to the participants so the researcher can collect proper data. As well as having questions be actual research questions, and not just q&a for fun.

Blog #4 personal experience rocks

Just from reading the first few sentences of “An Autoethnography on Learning About Autoethnography” by Sarah Wall, I thought to myself “Scientists really think we’re clowns for doing research”. The positivist tradition is something I have never heard of before and truth be told, I am very interested. It is said that this tradition is “Ways of inquiry that connect with real people, their lives, and their issues are seen as soft and fluffy and, although nice, not valuable in the scientific community”. Basically, research from experience. We then have postmodernism that suggests other researchers to stop having so much tunnel vision. Researchers are so focused on the scientific method, which is one of the key factors of research. However, they forget there are infinite possibilities of gaining knowledge. Ergo, real human experience. For example we had Leticia and Alec’s discussion on his autoethnographic story was a research in itself. Leticia was analyzing his story whilst Alec was discussing his own experience. Readers and researchers will have the ability to connect with the data presented in front of them because it is genuine human interactions/experience. 

As a woman, autoethnography supports what we have to say. Women go through their entire life being unheard or their thoughts being put to the side for simply being a woman. Now, we have scholarly women using crucial methods such as autoethnography to have their voices heard. Wall said “The potential power of autoethnography to address unanswered questions and include the new and unique ideas of the researcher is inspiring to me as one who wishes to find my niche and make my own special contribution”. This method is providing research through a whole new lens of grasping and understanding data. I appreciated this line from the reading, “It says that we cannot separate ourselves from what we do. It breaks down dominant structures that seek to exclude the contributions of others. I like that. Yet, I still believe that some things are right and some are wrong, that some things are real, and that truth can sometimes be known the same way by all people”. This falls in line with women being excluded, or even people from certain groups who are usually not given fair chances to be heard. Human experience gives an empathic viewpoint in research. It feels less robotic in a sense and more relaxed, as if you’re reading someone’s story. Autoethnography reminds me of documentaries. Essentially, aren’t documentaries research, compiled into a video that involves real human experience that include interviews and stories. On the other hand, I understand the negative aspects of personal experience used for research. There are a lot of biases even when someone is trying not to be, as well as being easily impressionable by others who are trying to conform your knowledge. There will be many people who do not agree with this approach, however you have to do your own “research” to see what path you would like to take for your own knowledge.

Blog #3 liminal being here

I think I am going to start off by saying that I also had to look up once again what something meant in the reading. I absolutely could not go on without googling what a “Liminal being” is and why Purdy and Walker keep referring to us as that. From my understanding, we are entities that don’t really have a place on earth? It makes me feel as if I’m in a state of limbo. 

Anyways, I digress. “Liminal Spaces and Research Identity” by James P. Purdy and Joyce R. Walker brings up points that I indulged in when starting grad school. That point being, research nowadays is shying away from old pedagogies. For example, last semester in my Writing Theories and Practice course, we read many articles that would bring up the horrors of traditional teachings by instructors, in terms of writing traumas, ESL tutoring, and revision. It is as if writers now are “Exposing” or shall I say, “Canceling” traditional practices of Writing Studies. On page 12, it is said “Instructional texts provide a focus for the institution’s desire to control and direct students movement into the established practices of research that academics use to construct students’ knowledge making their learning spaces, and themselves”. From my understanding, instructors are heavily encouraged to teach textbook material, even if it is outdated. The traditional text book regulates educators to follow its ideas. Not only are educators heavily encouraged, students who have learned and gained wilful knowledge about research over the years, must “Abandon” or it will “Pollute their academic work”. I personally do not agree with that in the slightest because everything I have learned in my countless years as a student has evolved better with time. It’s like a pokemon, you start with Pikachu, and then you’re Raichu. Also, yes the internet can be quite overwhelming but it is the #1 source for information, for almost everyone. Bonnie L. Tensen from the reading mentioned that the internet just creates unreliable sources for students, but if we’re told to leave our prior knowledge behind, technically it’s not our fault. I took research courses in High School, as well as in Undergraduate programs, I know how to distinguish between legitimate online sources and suspicious journal entries. I would also like to point out that it feels as if the researchers somehow are counteracting what they are saying. Maimon, Peritz, and Yancey literally write that they find it troubling that students leave behind prior knowledge rather than expanding on it. WHAT? 

Cornell University has a research strategy that is referred to as “One size fits all”. I understand that not everyone must follow this strategy but students are impressionable. They want to succeed with the best  of their abilities, so in this case, students will try to follow this approach. However, every student is not the same and will take certain steps at different points in their research. Which brings me to the reading’s most significant point, which is “Research identity”. As from the looks of it, us grad students are literally back in Kindergarten and we are learning everything from scratch. We left our parents behind, and here we are starting a new life in this new environment which is research. Perhaps that is why we are considered Liminal Beings. We are in an unknown land, trying to make do with what we have. A quote that really stood out to me in regard to identity “ Positioning students as unskilled or illiterate researchers not only reflects outdated theoretical views, and is inaccurate but also may actually damage students ability to create a healthy academic identity”. This is completely valid in the sense that students are already very vulnerable when it comes to their education. They come into class ready to use their prior knowledge and expand on it from being educated by an instructor. If they are encouraged to completely forget everything they have worked through, it is absolutely discouraging. I guess that is my spiel for this blog post. they were kind of passive aggressive. #saynotobullying.