Tonight was our last class meeting. It was really interesting to hear everyone’s proposal ideas and to see what they have learned from their research. I think the biggest thing that I learned from the class was that there is always room for more research on most topics. Just because one person’s work is considered the “holy grail” of information doesn’t mean that there isn’t more to discover. My topic has not been researched enough, and I think that there should be more research in the area. I am by no means a researcher, but I can see the allure to trying to uncover more information. Overall, I complained and grumbled about the work, but I did learn a bunch about my topic and about researching.
Funding and Dissemination
Before this class, I never considered the process of funding or dissemination. When I started looking at funding, I assumed that there would be tons of options, but it seems as if the majority of funders want to put their money into what they want to see funded. It is not a crazy request. If I were giving money for research, I would like to have a say in what was being researched. I guess I never thought about HOW specific some of the funders could be. I did end up finding a few government and conference funds that would help my research project.
As for dissemination, I am not much for speaking in public forums. I am a teacher, and I don’t mind talking to students. However, if you put me in a crowd of adults, I can not talk. My brain goes mushy and I start saying the most asinine things. That being said, for my topic, a conference would probably be the best place to present my research. By doing a conference, I know that my paper will be heard by people who are interested in the topic.
Murphy’s Law being what it is, I was,unfortunately, sick yesterday and today. I feel better tonight, and I used the time to work on reviewing for errors in my paper. I was so happy to hit the submit button. Now, it is a matter of waiting for a grade to be posted.I think the hardest part of this assignment was deciding what should stay and what could go. I had a really tough time narrowing down my definitions and assumptions. I finally decided to stick to one assumption and only 4 or 5 definitions. I still need to complete the assignment from the discussion board, but I think I should be able to finish it tonight. After we present our projects on Tuesday, I am going to be able to relax and spend some time with my boys. I have been trying to work after they go to bed, but sometimes that hasn’t been possible.
It’s Done (sort of)
I have cut the paper down to where I am actually ONE word under the maximum. I wasn’t sure if subtitles counted towards the word count, but I assumed that they did. I did subtract the citations, title, name, and associations from my total. I hope that the paper makes sense because towards the end I was being pretty ruthless. I will read through it tomorrow, and if it sounds okay, I will turn it in. I am a little nervous because I wasn’t able to add but one assumption and four of my definitions from my methodology. I simply didn’t have the space. If I am counted off for that, I will just deal with the repercussions because something had to go. (Otherwise, my paper would have been 10,000 words and 20 some odd pages long.) So, if all goes well, I will be one assignment down tomorrow. I will only have the discussion board left to finish!
And…I am over by 250 words
I have finished the majority of rewriting, cutting, and pasting. I was so excited to be almost finished, and then I realized that I am over by 250 words! ARGH! The frustration is oozing from every pore. I am going to go through it tonight and see what else I can edit or reword. I have a feeling it is going to be a long night because parts of the paper are harder to redo than others. I hope to get the final draft done so that I won’t have it looming over my head at Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. Also, I still need to complete the assignment from Tuesday, but I think that will have to wait until Saturday. The semester is almost over, and I could not be more grateful. I am ready for a nice break where I can finally put up my Christmas tree!
Cutting it to bits
I spent a major part of today ripping apart the work of the past few weeks. In a way, this is a little depressing. I was really stressed while writing each of these papers, and now I am tearing them apart to create something new. I think I am making process on editing, and I now only have the literature review section remaining. The literature review is going to be my toughest obstacle. I am going to have to shrink it all down substantially. I wonder if I have to use all of my articles or if I can use only a few? I had two articles that were significantly better than others. I am hoping that I can focus on those rather than summarizing a twelve-page paper.
Overall, I think that this paper has been easier to write than I initially thought it would be. I am hoping to finish it before the weekend is over so that I can focus on the discussion post this next week. I haven’t even had a chance to look at that assignment since my focus has been zeroed in on this conference proposal. Only 2 weeks remain in this semester, and I am so tired. I will be excited to see it over and done!
A Bunch of Editing.
In order to keep my conference proposal under the 2000 words, I am working on cutting huge chunks of material from my methodology paper. Right now, I am at 1,113 words and that is without my literature review, data collection, or data analysis. Everything else is written, but I am having trouble keeping the information from these sections brief but coherent. I have always been terrible at this. Mainly because I am an over-explainer. It comes from years of teaching teenagers and elementary school children who will ask you 8 million questions if they aren’t given explicit instructions. So, now I am having to un-teach myself the art of explicit instruction.
I am hoping to have the methodology section cut down by tomorrow afternoon. If I can accomplish that, I won’t have as much to finish next week.
Conference Proposal Writing Process
I started piecing together a rough draft of my conference proposal. I think that there are parts of this paper that can be simply cut and pasted. For instance, my problem statement is pretty well written and it is a decent length. I can shorten it if needed, but I think that it will be okay. As for the description of audience, I think that can be a relatively short paragraph explaining how the research will benefit teachers, administrators, librarians, and school counselors. I think the toughest part will be editing the literature review into something that is usable. I dread that section. I may save that section for last so that I can focus on it a little more. I hope to finish the paper before Thanksgiving so that I can relax a little with my family. I know we have another assignment due before the end of the semester, and I need to think about when to fit that into my schedule.
Conference Papers and Cheating?
I was re-reading the syllabus today, and I was wondering if all conferences have such precise requirements? I wasn’t really surprised by the word limitations, font size, or margins, but I was surprised by the name being on a separate page. Is this so that no one will get preferential treatment? I think if you really wanted to be a cheat, you could mention to one of the judges the title or content of your paper. They wouldn’t have to see the writers’ names or affiliation to know it was yours then. I guess I am just wondering why they would not want to know the authors or affiliation. My ignorance probably shows regarding conferences in general just by asking that question.
Honestly, I don’t know very much about conferences or conference proposals. I have attended a few conferences, but they were more educational based than research. Ideally, I think those would be one and the same, but it doesn’t seem as if they are. For instance, at the AASL conference, most of the break out groups and meetings were about how to do STEM or makerspaces. Or is this not the same type of conference as a research based conference? I am just a little confused.
Editing….and more editing
Since all of my papers have been pretty long and rambling, I have had to start the process of editing. I have noticed that I tend to repeat myself quite a bit, but I think it is because I am looking at several separate papers glued together. I have started trying to weed out stuff that isn’t important, and I am highlighting information that is important. I think I will be at this part for a while, but it is at least progress!