Improving my Proposal

I’ve had a bit of work to do catching up to where I feel I should be lately. It’s led to me scrutinizing what I think the good and the bad of my proposal is thus far so I can definitely offer some thoughts. I know it isn’t exactly what this blog needs to be talking about but I’m hopeful that my literature review is strong. If anything, it is too long per text. Delivering information pithily is not particularly my strong suit so in a general sense I imagine I could certainly work on this. I think the best way of tackling this is showing the proposal to someone for feedback, since I have a difficult time seeing my own writing from anyone else’s perspective than my own. This lends itself to my having a pretty intense sense of self in my writing but I fear it can make my work isolated from other people. Getting some feedback on the structure more than the content would probably help level me out a little, or maybe it would make me double down, it’s hard to say. But I actually also believe that reading other people’s work would be of benefit to me as well since it would allow me insight into where other people are coming from and how they are expressing the same things I am in their own way.

But to be more specific of what in the material of my proposal I feel needs work, it would be the methods. The problem I’m having is that I can generally assess the research I want to do, and I can assess literature on the subjects of mindfulness, reading, mindful education, mindful reading, different populations, statistical analyses of previous research, etc., but to make it my own research proposal seems challenging. That is to say, generating the research as it would be mine instead of someone else’s, while also using other people’s research to contextualize mine, is difficult. Figuring out exactly what the “gap in the research” is and coming up with the method of approaching filling that gap is tough. It feels like I’m approaching quantitative and qualitative research, since the prompt involves collecting numerical data and testimonials. I guess what I mean by all of this is turning my idea and my research into an actual research prompt complete with methodology and practical application is a connection I am struggling to make. In this, I also think investing in my classmates’ proposals would help, since it might give me an idea of what I could do.

What is your Relationship with Grammar?

(Source: Warriner’s Grammar, 2020)

What comes to mind when you think of grammar? Some of my classmates never had direct grammar instruction. Some of my classmates grew up with a whole language approach, where phonics or grammar was not formally taught. Some students like myself were taught in a traditional way where I spent two years of middle school, 7th and 8th grades, diagramming sentences from the Warriner’s English Grammar and Composition Handbook. In two years, Mrs. Mohr, my seventh and eighth grade English teacher, covered the entire 961 pages. We sat in rows and completed grammar exercises every day. We learned grammar rules. We diagrammed sentences. 

The middle-school language arts curriculum is very different now than in the 80’s. I cannot imagine a middle-school language arts teachers teaching grammar drills every day. As a result of my experience with grammar, I am confident in teaching grammatical rules to my students. There are some English teachers, and teachers in general, who do not feel comfortable teaching grammar to their students, especially since they have not been formally trained in grammar instruction. So, what is your experience with grammar?

For some of my classmates in my graduate-level English classes, they have not been formally taught grammar and feel disadvantaged and embarrassed when they are required to share their writings on social media. Their professors and peers can see grammatical errors. 

Luckily, some students use Grammarly, and others have purchased Grammarly Premium to help them locate pesky grammatical errors. Although online grammar checkers are popular, there has been little research on the effectiveness of them. Thus, the purpose of my research study is to test AI-assisted digital assistants such as Grammarly Premium and make recommendations to improve the functionality of it for writers at all levels. Moreover, I would like to present my proposal to the President of Kean so he can purchase an institutional subscription so more undergraduates and graduates can use it. 

I look forward to your feedback on my research proposal. 

Twitter: pham_linda


The Reason behind my madness; Back story of my research!

Upon entering into Spring 2020 semester, I had an idea of what type of job field I wanted to enter into. From Summer 2019 up until now, blogging and using the digital space is something I have grown accustomed to through using this method in the M.A. Writing Studies program. With that said, I decided to delve into the world of technical writing. Even though I knew I wanted to continue my writing studies academics into technical writing, I was not sure how narrow I was in my search. I knew I liked to write in the digital space; I wanted to get into technical writing; and I wanted to use this career field to educate students… but how? That is when this semester of Spring 2020 opened up a world of possibilities!

Not only am I currently a student at Kean, but I am also a part time graduate student at NJIT. Within this semester at NJIT, I am currently taking Advanced Information Design. The core of this course is to pick an interesting topic that I am knowledgeable about to creating an eLearning tutorial. Knowing in the back of my mind that I potentially want to use the Writing Process for my thesis project, I decided to go with turning the Writing Process into my topic of my ID course. As I continued to learn more about Instructional Design and apply my knowledge of the Writing Process to my project, an idea popped in my head; “This eLearning is actually coming out pretty cool! Now how can I put this to practical use?” My target audience for this project is 3rd grade students, so why not use real 3rd grade students? This is where my research took a turn in the perfection direction! Not only will this tool be potentially impact, I am also gaining experience in the practical use of Instructional Design. I am excited to see where this research takes me!

Research Proposal Evaluation

Despite the fact that I’m in my second semester of graduate school, I have never written a research proposal before. I felt embarrassed that I would be the only one in my class who has never written one before, but it turns out that most of my fellow colleagues haven’t either.

With most of my assignments, I find that it’s difficult for me to start and finish any paper or assignment. With writing my research proposal first draft I was unsure how to start it. I looked online for outlines and references, but there were so many different formats that it became overwhelming.

Dr. Nelson, later on, that week emailed us a detailed outline that I used as a guideline to help me tackle the first draft of my proposal. I was very nervous submitting my draft to Dr. Nelson because I was unsure if I was heading in the right direction or not. However, it seems that I did much better than I gave myself credit for.

Email from Dr. Nelson responding to my first draft of my research proposal

After receiving these revisions, I feel as if I will be struggling with the literature review section since I was unclear what exactly it was before starting this assignment.

Ways I Will Tackle the Literature Review

  • Research more articles that will best fit my topic
  • Cross-examine all information gathered from articles that will benefit my proposal
  • Outline mini essay-like responses on how the information will benefit my research