Tag Archives: education

Mixed Methods – When Students Want to Stand Out

Hey guys,

~~ Whatever thoughts came to mind while reading, I recorded ~~


After skimming through this week’s assigned research article, “When students want to stand out: Discourse moves in online classroom discussion that reflect students’ needs for distinctiveness” by Li-Tang Yu, et al., I definitely felt a personal connection to the objective of the study, exploring how students with different needs for uniqueness participated in online classrooms, or virtual learning experience. My first question before delving into the introduction section was, “What constitutes a student to have ‘different needs for uniqueness?’

At first guess, I assumed this specified group of students to each have either a learning disability, mental illness, or some form of cognitive impairment. Perhaps, students with physical-limitations due to chronic disease or sudden injury, or maybe those who have neurodivergent qualities found on the autism spectrum disorder. Harnessing the motivation to participate in an online class is a challenging task, especially for the students who lack the confidence in themselves to speak up and ask for help. As I continued on reading this study, I was continually bombarded with zoom university flashbacks. What a wild and eerie time ~~

 I remember, although I struggled to adjust at first, I enjoyed the time spent learning in online classroom platforms. In the comfort of my own home. Bathroom break on my command. Time felt slower, and I felt more in control of my learning and weekly time-planning. My difficulties adjudging (or “assimilating”) to and back from the online learning world to the physical classroom, in a way, supports what Brewer (1991) had said about Synder and Fromkin’s (1980) Uniqueness Theory, which is that social identity is derived from two opposing forces, assimilation, and differentiation form others. This makes total sense – humans carry with them an embedded biological need or want to belong, to be a part of a safe community with like-minded individuals. Yet, humans also want an occasional ego-boost so that they feel different, noticed, and perhaps, appreciated.

I will end this blog post with this quote, “Because individuals are said to vacillate between wanting to belong and wanting to stand out and be recognized for their unique contribution to a group, Kreiner, Hollensbe, and Sheep (2006) suggested that one’s need to be unique is likely to affect identity work, which in turn seems essential to the internalization of academic discourse (Duff, 2010)” (by Li-Tang Yu, et al., 1). This quote emphasizes the unfolding connection between the need and want to belong, and yet to also feel uniquely different is a defining identity characteristic, which will inevitably influence or impact the internalization of academic discourse. By the way, I don’t know, if what I’m saying or trying to articulate here in this blog post, even makes sense ~~


Okay, so now I’ll try and sum up what’s going on with my research proposal drafting process, in which I obviously plan to work on more so later today. I have a lot of words and ideas on pages right now, which is good yet overwhelming me with how easily I can lose track of my own thought-writing-planning process. As for the sources for my literature review, I have accumulated 14 solid research articles so far, and have annotated seven of them [in which are still considered in the drafting citation phase]. The seven annotated articles were thoroughly skimmed through several of times and chosen to be cited within my introduction section because of their closer relevance to my inquiry question, similar participant demographic, or thoughtful discussion on the different thinking styles and states of human consciousness.

My introduction is still a mess; paragraphs with great detail and quality content sporadically placed throughout my document. I’m a messy writer, and often write what comes to mind or feels write, then go back to read some of the research articles in hopes to revisit my messy draft for refinement, deleting paragraph-ideas that no longer serve the direction of where my research inquiry question is intending to go. I have refined my research question multiple times, and now feel satisfied with it. I feel fine in terms of finding research article sources, annotating, and finding connections within and between them.

However, I am struggling with the construction and organization of my methodology section. I’ve planned out some draft ideas of data collection methods based on the phenomenological approach to research design. I’m definitely researching a phenomenon – the emergence of cognitive creative functioning and influence on self-identity amongst Kean University students.

I’m choosing to do a small focus group sampling size of ten students, who each leisurely practice a form of artistic-creative expression. The ten students can be from either an undergraduate or graduate program at Kean. I would like to plan for only two students to engage in the same form of artistic-creative expression. This means 10 different students but only 5 different forms of creative expression will be analyzed in my study. This way I can conduct deep cross-comparative analysis between the creative processes of students engaging in the same form of creativity (e.g., two students painting or drawing as a form of creative expression) and between those engaging in different forms of creative expression (e.g., dancing as a form of creative expression vs. writing).

I plan on implementing structured and unstructured interviews with participants before, during, and after their engaged experience of creative production. For this to happen, there will need to be three separate phases or stages of the interview process. The first stage will be a structured individual interview, with some open-ended questions with each participant. The second stage will involve unstructured, conversational questions while directly observing and note taking the engagement and production of creativity at hand (individually, not as a group). And the third stage will be the reflective focus group gathering, where I pose questions as a frame of guidance but will ultimately let the participants lead the discuss on their creative experience, associated feelings or attitudes all throughout, setbacks or unforeseen challenges, insights, or revelations of any kind. My observational notes on the creative productions and the reflective focus group discussion will count as data for this study, and I will use thematic analysis to identify common themes, or patterns of meaning that come up repeatedly.

That’s all I got for this week ~~ my brain feels heavy, and my eyes now hurt but hey, we are almost to the finish line ~~


Francesca Di Fabio 🙂

Grounded Theory Vs. Qualitative Content Analysis

Hey, guys – we back from spring break!! (~ mixed feelings ~) ://

Anyway, this week’s research article, “Reducing Confusion about. Grounded Theory and Qualitative Content Analysis: Similarities and Differences” by Ji Young Cho and Eun-Hee Lee, was not nearly as scary as last week’s article. I found myself hesitant to open up the document and begin my process of breaking down the text so that I can see and feel what the words are trying to tell me. I felt heavy resistance. I felt angry for some reason. It’s no secret that I’ve been avoiding my blog post for as long as I can manage.

My hesitance toward wanting to read came directly from the frustrating experience I had reading and decoding the scholarly article on Network Theory. I’m having PTSD (lol). Nah – I’m being dramatic and just find it interesting to notice the inner feelings or bodily sensations that may arise when confronted with or reading a form of literature. Once I conquered the resistance-avoidance state of numbness, and began to read, I realized that this article was fine (although a bit redundant in nature), and that I’m totally okay (lol). I understand most of what the text is saying, and here I am, right now, writing my blog post. The resistance-avoidance state is now over and I’m in action ~~~ LOL

Anyway, I wanted to shed light on my initial feelings toward this week’s research reading because we happen to talk a lot about the novice student researcher and their individual relationship with research & academia in our class. And Cho and Lee start off this interesting topic, first by explaining how several novice researchers (like me – like us), “especially students who want to conduct qualitative research, are often confused by the [complex] characteristics of the two [qualitative research methods, Grounded Theory and Qualitative Content Analysis] as result of lack of comparative references” (1).

Immediately, the authors were very straightforward about the six areas of difference that emerged through their research, which made following along with the buildup of the rest of the research paper much easier. It’s comforting that the goal of this research paper is to help us, the novice researchers, and to further assist us in the selection of appropriate research methods of inquiries (especially, if taking the qualitative route, which idk, I might dabble in). And, although tedious and confusing in nature & its execution, I can see future me choosing a qualitative approach toward data collection. I don’t know, maybe I’m just attracted to the whole “holistic” or “open-mindedness” attitude that surrounds and hovers over the qualitative. Especially, with the social interactionism or symbolic interactionism meaning-movement that’s now tied into the grounded theory approach.

Anyway, the push for symbolic interactionism widened the scope of variations for grounded theory, allowing for both a creative, open-for-interpretation (Glaser) and a rigorous, prescriptive routine-like decoding process (Strauss & Corbin). But then again – there was a guy, (Kracauer, 1952), who apparently, “advocated for a qualitative approach to content analysis in which meanings and insights can be deprived from the text more holistically” (Cho & Lee, 3). What I find even more funny is that this critique is what took quantitative content analysis and transformed from it, the development of qualitative content analysis by application of the systematic use of a category system (3). Okay. . . so, . . . like just changing the name of the method makes this “newly found” content analysis approach more holistic in nature and less rigid so as to avoid forcing data? Hmmm, I don’t know.

But wait – it gets even better (& more confusing) when grounded theory is continuously defined as a “a systematic generation of theory, “or as a “a set of rigorous procedures to the emergence of conceptual categories.” There is an overuse and overlap of the words like rigorous, systematic, category system, holistic, creativity, interpretation, meaning. It’s like, are these people fooling us and is everything just the same, here? From everything I’ve gathered, it feels like both methods – Grounded Theory and Qualitative Content Analysis – can do the same things or undergo similar forms of decoding techniques or processes.

After reading through each section of this research article, I definitely noticed that the distinct difference between these two qualitative methods or processes is that Grounded Theory aims to generate a theory from comparative analysis and that Qualitative Content Analysis is interested in understanding the overall features generated by directional, hypothesis research questions. I feel like the authors could have simplified this in a more straightforward manner. Idk maybe I’m still mad over last week’s research article and ahhh, – the redundancy of it all!!


I thought this was a cool diagram-image thingy that helps explain the grounded theory data analysis steps/ process:

~~ This is another weird blog post for the books ~~


Francesca Di Fabio 🙂

Literacy Networks . . . & Confusion

Hey all,

This week, I’m like not mentally here, okay. I hope we can really understand what I’m saying. It’s been really hard, lately – so bear with me, here. And, then I’m presented with this lovely research article that made my head spin even faster. I threw up because it reminded me of being dyslexic and how academia scares me (which, through my logical-rationale brain, this makes perfect sense to why I overreacted to this text and to why my relationship with literacy texts of this nature are not so cute). Do you understand what I’m saying, here? Because half of me does and the other half doesn’t.

Remember, people — I’m an open book.

So, with that being said, I’m going to just write random stuff for this week’s blog post that I hope makes sense in relation to, “Literacy Networks: Following the Circulation of Text, Bodies, and Objects in the Schooling and Online Gaming of One Youth” by Kevin Leander and Jason Lovvorn.

What I’ve gathered is that this research article is an ethnographic study that follows and analyzes one youth – Brian – in three different literacy networks which were two from his school classrooms (History and English), and one from his play of a massively multiplayer online game called Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided. I had no idea what any of the jargon meant in this research article, so I looked up everything: Literacy Networks, Actor Network Theory, Space-Time Dimensions, and any other term that made me want to cry. I still don’t understand what Actor Network Theory is and I truly don’t even care for it at this point. This quote, “Literacy is a form of networking that produces space-time” (Leander & Lovvorn, 293), helped me understand the relationship between such confusing jargon. And I learned that literacy network is an expansive notion for theorizing literacy practices, specifically to move and push social practices of literacy forward so to make sense of how the social and wide-ranging text actor features form a relationship with one another in a unique space-time quality.

~~ I have no idea what I just said ~~

Anyway, I think that the environments (in school or out of school) in which literacy learning takes place are considered the “space-time dimensions,” but I could be wrong. To be honest, I couldn’t even finish this article but my failure to finish reading and fully understanding the depths of this research reflects my mental state and internal frustration with myself NOT this chosen piece of research or anything to do with Daniel’s personal selection. I usually love learning, if truly interested in the topic or not – even if the topic makes zero sense to me, I somehow can make the text relatable in some form or another.

Also, the research discussed a lot about literacy practices in relation to making meaning out of text through personal engagement and agency and how one can use the tools within the text and their spatial surroundings to help form or build upon their identity. I found it funny and interesting as I’m personally struggling with my identity (early adulthood mid-life crisis, perhaps?), while trying to read a form of literacy that does not want to agree with my sense of agency right now. I’m certainly not having a meaningful exchange with literacy right now as you can probably sense the annoyance in my voice.

Out of all the gibberish and jargon within this research article, I did agree with the concept that meaningful exchanges in literacy practices can occur outside of the home, school, or workplace (Leander & Lovvorn, 292). With that being said, I also agree with Leander & Lovvorn in that closer examination must be done to help scholarly researchers and literacy educators to “reconceive of literacy as clearly embedded in other activity structures and forms, and [to] consider the special role that literate activity has in shaping the spatial and temporal relationships of streams of activity (292). Setting-based distinctions (home, school, arcade, etc.,) and the diversity that each space-time dimension presents across activities like gaming, blogging, mixing music, remixing fan fiction, etc., offer a great opportunity for understanding differences among literacy practices of learning, teaching, and thinking.

Oh my – thank goodness this blog is technically, considered done (for what I think). I kept telling myself, “B!tc*, write something, anything – just get it DONE!” I hope whatever was said made sense because it kind of does and kind of doesn’t for me. What a weird blog post of mine. Okay . . . goodbye, now.


Francesca Di Fabio 

Genre Features – Qualitative Research

Hey all,

From what I gathered while reading, Understanding The Genre Features of Qualitative Research: A Case Study by Guo, Y-H, is that this case study has a very meta-component to it, in which the case study follows and documents the process of Lin – a Taiwanese graduate student majoring in English Education – and his progression into a qualitative research community (119). Essentially, this is a qualitative case study being done on a novice research student conducting and compiling qualitative field work data to understand how his limited interpretative writing skills paired with the lowly formulaic style of qualitative data retrieval, will impact his research journey and thesis formation attempts (Guo, 115). A qualitative research study, studying another qualitative research study – OoOo, cool, yo!

Anyway, the design of this case study can easily appeal to and initiate a research learning curve for both students and professors regarding the importance of teaching and conducting qualitative research as a genre. If novice researchers were pushed by their research professors or advisors to steer away from relying on model-imitation techniques of academic research writing, and rather encourage them to study their own naturalistic writing processes – whether it be academic, creative, free-writing, or drafting – they would essentially be practicing and refining their interpretative writing skills on a more simpler level, which differs from that of research-related skills like decoding, or categorizing. Likewise, Guo even asserts that, “[. . .] in transforming naturalistic data into words, the students are actually engaged in the process of writing. Studying their research processes means to study their writing processes” (115).

This way, graduate students can learn how to effectively transform naturalistic data into comprehensible categories of words and meaning in relation to their qualitative inquiry research question(s). Especially, since the qualitative data collection and thesis proposal process entirely revolves around the process of writing and reflecting; otherwise, referred to as interpretive writing skills (Guo 115).

We’ve discovered that qualitative research involves self-centered reflection, as to clear the mind for meaningful, and purposefully driven inquiry questions that drive an effective thesis proposal. We’ve also discussed how research involves interpretive writing skills, which seem to be left out of the curriculum in favor of quantitative research (Guo 122). However, the beginning-inquiry stage of the qualitative research process is seldomly discussed in terms of its genre features and preferred writing styles; thus, leaving students stuck in doubt about their chosen research topic and process (qualitative), which is supposed to feel “freer” than that of the quantitative data collection process. Lin even struggled to find purposeful and meaningful inquiry at the very beginning, He did not know what to investigate specifically and did not follow traditional research procedure by starting from the review of literature” (Guo 118). 

Sometimes, though, too much freedom becomes overwhelming, especially if there is no academic support or training on the complexities of qualitative research as a writing genre. Although Lin chose to conduct his qualitative research through a top-down approach, I don’t think he was ever really taught on how to effectively manage and observe the continual streaming flow of gathering on-site data (Guo 118). Ultimately, I think – after reading about the outside contextual forces – that the qualitative research disconnect is rooted solely on researcher preferences, which in turn, impacts what university students learn; or perhaps, even the fear of getting lost in the written and verbal data observations; or maybe, the avoidance is due to student-homework laziness or an unwillingness to commit through the frustration of interpreting the data and carrying on with it until the end. This is unfortunate in terms of academia and the infinite knowledgeable truths awaiting to be researched and discovered.

I also wonder how professors expect college students to follow through with the multifaceted nature of qualitative research if they: 1) HAVE NOT considered their students’ preexisting knowledge on research implementation; 2) NEVER provide opportunities to learn about qualitative research as a genre, and do not offer enough classroom time to practice writing the qualitative conventional surface features; and 3) DO NOT discuss the recursive, circular nature of qualitative data, and how to avoid becoming overly frustrated.

 This lack of education on the qualitative research process makes it appear more intimidating for college students; therefore, it makes sense to why most of the students chose the quantitative approach (Guo 120). University research institutes and English departments can help to combat the prejudiced attitudes from some science research communities by embedding more qualitative curricular activities or assignments that would be thoroughly guided, step-by-step with the help of the processors’ in-depth explanations. Considering Lin’s Eastern Asian origins and Taiwanese ethnic-identity, I can image that he had to face immense resistance or confront faces of confusion from his classmates, who all chose the easy route in terms of data collection – conducting quantitative research because the data happens to seem more tangible and digestible. So, I applaud Lin for volunteering to be qualitatively observed and analyzed on conducting a form of research that he knows so little about. Go, Lin!!!

 Particularly, because this case study delves deep into Lin’s qualitative writing challenges, and his interactions with his academic advisor and other professors throughout his research endeavors. We are given insight on Lin’s personal struggles conducting, gathering fieldwork data, and writing and editing his data analysis procedure section – over, and over, again. As a graduate student, I felt for Lin and became overly frustrated for him considering there was little-to-no emphasis on the practice and importance of qualitative research (as a genre in inquiry and writing), lack of instruction on academic discourse diversity and “the conventional surface features of thesis writing” (Guo, 122). 

That’s all for this week ~~ I hope whatever I wrote made sense because I did this blog post and skimmed through the reading with a 100-degree fever ~~ woot, woot!!!

Life do be like that sometimes ~~ what ya gonnna do, tho ~~


Francesca Di Fabio 


I had flashbacks of being back in my undergraduate program at Kean, awaiting and consciously avoiding the infamous Research & Technology course while reading Purdy and Walker’s scholarly research, Liminal Spaces and Research Identity: The Construction of Introductory Composition Students as Researchers. Ask any Kean undergraduate student about the required Research and Technology course, and I doubt they will smile and jump gleefully as they tell you all about the course requirements. If anything, they may cry while telling you all about the course (lol).

Honestly, I’m being dramatic. The course really wasn’t all that bad as we took the adequate time in the beginning to develop research questions that had meaning and value to us, and we wrote through and conducted each step of the research process together (we all had our own inquiry question and topic, of course). I conducted research on the prevalence and purpose of visible tattoos on college students at Kean in certain academic majors. I had a newly found liking toward tattoos as a form of self-expression and wanted to know if the stigma associated with professionalism stopped students in getting visible tattoos on their body in hopes to acquire a job related to their major of study.

My Research & Tech class certainly had the feel or vibe of no soldier left behind – if ya know what I mean. We followed the “linear, print-based model of research” through sequential steps and deadlines, so that by the time you blinked you were done with one section and moving forward and on to the next (Purdy and Walker 10). The process was so fast in such little time that there was no time to be anxious about it (which, I guess was nice? lol). Instead, all there was time for was to just go – go – go and do – do – do and get it done- done – done! My professor made the sequential steps seem manageable for an anxious, introductory student and she had warned us to not fall behind – several of times. I was lucky enough to have friends in that class, along with a really cool and dope professor who wanted us to not only like but to feel connected to our chosen research topic.

Purdy and Walker’s scholarly research really had me reflecting back on my experience as a dyslexic and anxious introductory student who knew little of herself, so how in the heckedy-heck would I know how to cultivate my own research identity? (lol) I know now what a research identity is, and the crucial steps taken toward cultivation (Thanks to Purdy & Walker <3). The central claim behind their research is that English Studies teachers should promote a better understanding of the research identities students must cultivate to pass university classes and beyond. Such known and newly developed student-research identities could “help to prepare future, educated civil participants” and provide students with a sense of who they are and why that might be in relation to inquiry research (Purdy and Walker 9).

There was no shock in reading about how the composition handbooks and texts given to introductory students to help learn about scholarly research only emphasize the very things that intimidate us or the very things we don’t know how to do. And, ugh – still no surprise to read about the straightforward, linear assumption of conducting meaningful research and collecting data.

It is absurd to assume that students coming from all over would be willing enough to leave behind their already-formed, pre-determined, complex identities of online researchers to find a new identity in pursuit of writing a hefty research paper. HAHAH – it’s laughable, honestly. Anyway, I felt Purdy and Walker’s research heading toward the direction of opposition against the infamous prescribed pathways of research. Especially after learning how recursive and circular in nature qualitative methods can be when conducting research, as the data usually takes the lead for itself. So, I decided to comment my authentic reaction before reading past page 10.

~~~ Here it goes ~~~

Regarding Susan Miller’s (1991; 51) call for attention on the problematic teaching attitudes and tools that frame introductory students’ as researchers, I instantly thought of and about the lack of scholarly and academic writing and research preparation or proper exposure in and throughout the secondary or high school years. This lack of preparation creates a major disconnect for newly, incoming college students. Especially, considering the many different and unique places – states, county, school districts – the newly accepted students come from. University students come from all over and bring with them differing degrees of knowledge and academic skillsets that are culturally connected to wherever it is they come from. This diversity of multiple distinct academic identities adds an additional layer of complexity onto the professor’s job of building adaptive, flexible research identities from students’ already existing knowledge-identity.

I thought of this issue before reading on because I personally felt the disconnect in the process of reading and conducting scholarly research during the beginning years of my undergraduate experience. However, I was also not the student to take academic risks nor challenge myself in high school like I can do now. I was down deep in the belief that dyslexia had made me forever dumb. So, I brought with me to Kean this unproven, fictional narrative that I’m incapable of anything scholarly, or incapable of anything academically challenging.

So, please – imagine my fright when I heard about the required Research and Technology course that every academic major had to take at some point. I’m no longer scared of reading or writing academic research papers, but the idea of having to re-conduct, re-engage with, and re-organize research to fit the very ‘identity’ I still know very little about seems . . . well. . . not cute. Lastly, I’d like to pay my respects to Purdy & Walker for firmly believing in instructional methods that act as a threshold for introductory students “to unite oneself with a new world” because I sure as h*ll didn’t feel united.


Francesca Di Fabio 

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.


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.