I despise research papers

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  1. The10DollarMark profile image59
    The10DollarMarkposted 12 years ago

    I'm taking this English course and I have to write a Research paper. This didn't sound too bad since I chose a topic I really wanted to do (it's about how the English language has little reading sense and should reform)...

    ...but of course my professor requires at least 2 scholarly [print] sources . My paper's already fully written and so far I only have web sources. Just to make matters worse, I also need to do a field observation (like a survey) or an interview. I don't want to bother people sad and both of  those options would require me to bother people.

    On the bright side, this will make a great hub or article series once done.

    Seriously though, I hate research papers.

    PS. If anyone here is an authority on English and/or foregin language education (like a professor) and wouldn't mind doing an IM interview, that'd be cool.

    1. Beelzedad profile image58
      Beelzedadposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      You wouldn't possibly consider 'hubbing' it now so we can get a better idea of your requirements? Thanks.  smile

      1. The10DollarMark profile image59
        The10DollarMarkposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Erm. Considering this is pretty much my term paper, the last thing I want to do is put it online before it's due. Knowing my luck, I'll be unfortunate enough that someone will steal and republish it elsewhere and then I'll be accused of plagiarizing.

        But this is the general structure of my paper (subject to change):
        Intro, talking about how a lot of group readings are ruined because people stop when reading aloud because they don't know how to read a word.

        Body paragraph 1: Talks about how a lot of people may think that the current writing system is ok because of the high reported literacy rate, but one of the literacy samplers offered assistance for nonEnglish speakers and people with reading disabilities and I hint that if the system were easier, such people may learn to read faster and may not need as much assistance.

        Body paragraph 2: I mention other countries such as France and Japan have been regulating their writing system so that reading aloud is no longer an issue for readers so they can focus solely on the meaning. Then a reference to the last few times English was reformed.

        Body paragraph 3: I talk about how the language needs reforming because a lot of words seem to make little sense (I provide examles). How words may need to be partially rewritten - or in some cases fully rewritten. Then a few mention of other languages.

        Body paragraph 4&5: I talk about the 3 steps needed for reading aloud, even though many languages require only 1. (Phonetics. Holistic word and Sentence Level comprehension, which are normally used for comprehension among other languages, are the two steps that are also needed for reading aloud in English). Examples of uses and programs using the other two processes are provided

        Body paragraph 6:I mention the difficulty of making a standardized system and mention that such a reform would need to be gradual.

        Body paragraph 7: I mention and refute the opposition who do not want a reform because it would destroy the etymology of the language, but I counteract by reminding them that etymology is the study of the evolution of a language and that by refusing to accept a reform, they are stopping the next level of the etymology for future generations, blah blah... German is mentioned as a language that managed to throughly regulate its writing system without losing its etymological standpoint.

        Body paragraph 8: I start with an anecdote about this horrible little sort of joke two teachers have told me before that were supposed to represent how bad the English system is, but that the example in that joke was bad if you knew anything about English patterns. Yet the fact that most of my classmates were in awe, and that the teachers didn't mention this wasn't a very good example, meant that they weren't aware of common reading patterns so they were probably not emphasized in school. This leads to my argument that a reform can only work if all rules and patterns are covered by teachers.

        Conclusion: I then conclude with all the benefits of a standardized system for a more streamlined national English curriculum and testing, as well as the rise in reading and edutainment software.

        I also considered putting some stuff about how a lot of people go to long vowels when reading aloud because the alphabet uses long vowels, even though a great majority of syllables use short vowels. But I can only put that if I find stuff to back it up.

    2. prettydarkhorse profile image56
      prettydarkhorseposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      is this just a reaserch paper or like a thesis, what is your methods of research, it will be good if you can find a site of professors who are willing to help and then you can just send questionnaires in the Internet, what is the objectives of your research?

      Why not devise a questionallire which you can just email, perhaps to a website of english professors or enthusiasts?

      1. The10DollarMark profile image59
        The10DollarMarkposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        It's just a regular research paper, but I still want to do a thorough job since it is a required class and this guy's a tougher grader than what I'm used to.

        But really the only research is using sources (2 of which must be scholarly and thanks to FalSor I already found one) and then there's either a field observation (like a survery) OR an interview required.

        I just wish it was sources only. I hate having to bother people to ask them questions; I'm sure they're all busy.

        1. prettydarkhorse profile image56
          prettydarkhorseposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Oh I see, I think it will be ok to find an old retired professor in the area. You can do these by going to a website of a univeristy or college and check their profesor emeritus in the home section of any near university, and check their email addresses, and try to email them usually odl professor want to be recognized still then you can interview them, face to face or just send an email questionnaire, legwork is hard just try and be persistent hehe

          or you can approach an organization of students near  a university and inform the head of the org of your objectives, see what you can come up with the members and then they can suggest if ever you can interview a big wig

  2. profile image0
    cosetteposted 12 years ago

    'k i know this will sound sick to you, but i LOVED research papers! smile

    good luck with yours...

    1. The10DollarMark profile image59
      The10DollarMarkposted 12 years agoin reply to this


      Though really the only part of the paper that I hate are the required print and personal works cited. If I could only use web sources, this would have been just another paper to me.

      When I found out I had to either do an interview or a field observation all I could think was "I wonder if I could interview the US Department of Education" but then I realized they're probably clueless about it tongue.

      1. profile image0
        cosetteposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        haha you may be right about that big_smile

  3. FranyaBlue profile image82
    FranyaBlueposted 12 years ago

    I could put you in touch with one of my lecturers at uni. He is a very chatty type of person, always got something to say. He used to teach English as a foreign language in various countries but now teaches Journalism. If you want I can pass you his email, he wont mind smile Plus he might know others who would be interested also.

    1. The10DollarMark profile image59
      The10DollarMarkposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Do you think he'd mind doing an email/im interview? I know some people are like "No. Phone" but I'm a very bad phone speaker (heck, I'm a very bad speaker overall).

      1. FranyaBlue profile image82
        FranyaBlueposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        No, I'm sure he would be ok with whatever. I will be seeing him tomorrow morning. As much as I just wanna give you his email add I think I better check with him first smile Then I will pass it on to you.

        His name is Roger Perkins. Google him, he has worked as editor for some major newspapers and stuff.

  4. profile image0
    girly_girl09posted 12 years ago

    Be thankful you got to choose the subject! ;D

    I am doing a lengthy paper this year on the U.C.C. (Uniform Commercial Code -zzzzzzzzzz) and one semester, had to  write 5 different types of papers on global warming (which is not something I truly believe in!) Anyways, good luck! big_smile

    I will give you a helpful hint that works for me - try researching your subject on a journal database. Your university should have a subscription to places like Academic Plus Premier, etc. You can use these as print sources because they'll provide the page numbers, etc. for the journal articles the search turns up. Your prof will never know you got everything online. I don't know how I'd get through school without it! My profs are always like omg, amazing works cited. They think I spent hours in the library, when I really only spent a few minutes doing academic journal searches! muahaha I don't think it matters, because either way the information you learn is the same.

    Anyways, definitely ask your college's librarian for the log-ins for these journal services. They are a life saver!

    1. The10DollarMark profile image59
      The10DollarMarkposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      So you did a lot of research papers...Hmm, have you ever used non-English sources?

      I used a French source (since I was comparing English and French and I couldn't find an article about exactly what I wanted so I went to the French wikipedia instead). If you've  ever used a non-English source, have your professors ever minded? Did they require you to provide a translation? I included one just in case, along with the original text - well the portions I used at least.

      And choosing the subject was difficult. It had to be somehow related to pop culture and be "not too obvious". So stuff like violence in games/movies/books...that's obvious. Everything I thought of was obvious. Then I got to this and I was thinking "well that's not too obvious" but I was worried it would be rejected (you have to propose topics and get them approved) because it's not really that much into pop culture.

      But the professor thought the whole topic sounded really interesting so I was like "sweeeet". If he'd said no, I'd have done one about literary edutainment.

  5. Falsor Wing profile image59
    Falsor Wingposted 12 years ago

    You don't need an English professor you need an ESL teacher, or a speech therapist. Coincidentally I blogged about this. I'm a former English major but not a prof.

    http://www.gonzaga.edu/academics/librar … efault.asp

    that database should have articles like the type you need. once you find their name's in this database you can hunt for them on the internet. Google scholar ftw.

    1. The10DollarMark profile image59
      The10DollarMarkposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Actually an English professor is better, since my paper is about natives learning to read - I just happen to mention it may also help nonnatives.

      Though an ESL teacher is still good.

      And speech therapist? Aren't those people who...work with pronunciation? I'm talking about the processs of reading aloud and figuring out how words relate from an alphabet. Not quite the same meaning of "pronunciation" that I meant.

      My school also has a database; I just haven't been finding much stuff.

      1. Falsor Wing profile image59
        Falsor Wingposted 12 years agoin reply to this

        Children have more trouble remembering difficult to pronounce words. I don't have the studies but its true I thought it might be relevant.

        1. The10DollarMark profile image59
          The10DollarMarkposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          Thank you for the thought but sadly it isn't. I wish it were because, although I do have the required amount of pages, I did want it to be a thorough paper.

          However my paper is about the ability to read aloud any word even if you don't know it. It's not about whether the words themselves are difficult to pronounce, only about whether its pronunciation can be derived through reading the word. Unless the study also discussed the benefits of having a syllabic or phonetic guide (such as the one provided in dictionaries) in order to remember those difficult words, then it is not relevant.

          1. Falsor Wing profile image59
            Falsor Wingposted 12 years agoin reply to this

            the study was about the relationship between pronunciation, spelling, and retention. Japanese children use romanji which is almost totally phonetic. these children master a larger number of words and concepts than English and some obscure language I forget which. That wasn't the only part of the study though. sorry I can't be more specific.

            1. The10DollarMark profile image59
              The10DollarMarkposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              They use hiragana and katakana, romaji isn't until they start typing on computers, but that does sound interesting.

              So that study would imply that a more structured writing system would mean better pronunciation and better retention. Sounds like a winner to me. I'll go see if I can find it.

              1. Falsor Wing profile image59
                Falsor Wingposted 12 years agoin reply to this

                Yes that's what I meant hiragana and katakana; the two that make sense. Kanji is the devil.

                1. The10DollarMark profile image59
                  The10DollarMarkposted 12 years agoin reply to this


                  Yeah, but most literary works limit themselves to jouyou kanji and provide furigana for untaught kanji. I used that as one of my points, that - once you go beyond the regulated kanji - phonetical help is always provided so people who don't know it are still able to phonetically sound out the word with ease. If a language with 3 writing systems (4 if you count romaji) can provide that kind of phonetical aspect, surely english could try to do the same.

            2. The10DollarMark profile image59
              The10DollarMarkposted 12 years agoin reply to this

              Was it "The effects of orthographic depth on learning to read alphabetic, syllabic, and logographic scripts"?

              Well even if it's not, your suggestion led me to find a really good journal article, thanks ^^ Now at least I have 1 scholar citation down.

  6. Jane@CM profile image61
    Jane@CMposted 12 years ago

    I would suggest using your school as a resource.  My daughter uses college professors for sources.  You could easily go to the French or Spanish department and ask to interview a prof. or even a TA?  Another option is looking at the Univ. you go to and see if there are any professors who specialize in your topic smile

    1. The10DollarMark profile image59
      The10DollarMarkposted 12 years agoin reply to this

      Unfortunately that's not really doable. This is my first semester at this school so I have no connections with any teachers which means they'd only agreet to meet during office hours.

      However, because I have to take 2 hours to get to school (and then 2 hours to get back), and I have to babysit my little brother, my time at uni is limited and the little time I do have off is a common time for classes. So really the only one I could talk to is my actual professor and, well, it'd be weird to interview the person who assigned the research paper in the first place.


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