January 26, 2006

Reflections for 1/19-1/26

I had a few initial impressions of the class as we progressed through the first session. First, I was happy that I knew many of the class members. In general, i enjoy classes where I already know at least several of the other students. I enjoyed learning a bit about each of the others in the last segment of the class. As we covered the syllabus, I had two conflicting thoughts: 1. Sounds fun; 2. Whoa!, a lot of work here.

The overview on wikis was interesting. Coincidentally, I had a guest lecturer cover wikis (and blogs) in the class I teach at St. Kate's on 1/7. They actually have been around awhile, but only becoming more popular (getting more press for example) now. I wonder what is causing its increase in popularity. Are more people finally starting to adopt them for collaboration? Or is it it simply there are now easy to install feature rich open source products readily available? I think it would be interesting to look at how prevalent wikis are now for collaborating in among various groups/settings.

I enjoyed the readings for the week. All contained very practical advice. The Kilger, Scanlon, and Pressley article had useful advice in choosing a journal and preparing a manuscript for publication. I found the discussion of the revise and resubmit cycle and the long timelines to be especially helpful. This was the first time I read a concrete description of the process.

The Booth, Colomb, Williams chapters were filled with useful advice on organizing a research paper and on organizing your arguments. As I was reading this, though, I was wondering how so many poorly written papers make it into the publication process. Some of their advice I have sen numerous times; know your reader/audience; be careful of paraphrasing; create a plan for writing your paper. Other concepts were new to me. I had not thought about warrants before, and know I understand why I have occasionally struggled to explain something in writing. If I am remembering correctly, I probably was having a problem with using a proper warrant to link the evidence to the claim.

Posted by danil003 at January 26, 2006 8:07 AM
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