Spring 2018 Writing Lives

Claim Code: A15-008B-867
West-Puckett Claim Code: A15-008B-867 • Shepley Claim Code: 554-36C1-DC5 • Kim Claim Code: 5E2-A2EA-112

Practicing auto-ethnographic research methods common to the social sciences, this badging pathway helps you examine and understand how writing, in all its forms, functions in your daily life. After some preliminary reading and research about writing in the lives of young people, you will come up with a focused, significant research question to explore through data collection methods of self-study like journalling, think-aloud protocols, daily logs, and/or artifact analysis. You’ll spend at least seven days collecting data that helps you answer your question on your writing habits, tools, genres, mediums, emotions, etc. and then analyze that data to “find your findings” about the role of writing in your daily life. To share your inquiry and results with the university community, you’ll produce a research poster suitable for URI’s Showcase of Undergraduate Research.

This is a research-intensive badge.

Level I Activities

  • What does writing look like in your life? When do you write? Where do you write? Why do you write? What tools do you use? What genres and media do you write in most? What are your perceptions of your writing? How have those perceptions changed over time? Write a 250 word response to those questions.
  • Read the following book chapters and short articles that address writing in young people’s lives. As you read, digitally annotate, looking for main ideas, key points, statements that you agree or disagree with, things that bother you or excite you, and anything that sparks your interest. What in these readings would you like to know more about and study? What here connects to your own writing life? Also, pay attention to the contexts of the different sources. Mark when they were written. Who are the authors? Do some research to find out about them. Note the authors’ purposes and the audience they were writing for. Where were they published and why does that matter? What kinds of evidence do the authors use to support their claims? Read and answer these questions in your annotations.

Texting Erodes Writing Skills? R U Kidding Me?
Opinion: Video Games Taught Me How to Write
Young People Let Digital Apps Dictate Their Identities, Say Two Scholars

Return to your first response. How is writing in your life similar to or different from what you’ve read about writing in the lives of contemporary young people? Write a 300 word mini-essay that references the reading above and places your writing life inside the larger picture of writing in young people’s lives. Integrate the sources, responsibility using paraphrase and direct quotations (sparingly), in-text citations, and a works cited list.

Level II Activities

  • Using the your answers to questions about what you’d like to know more about regarding writing in your life, narrow your focus to a single question that you will explore in more detail by collecting primary data on your own writing practices. For example, if you interested in the ways likes and comments on your Instagram page affect your emotional wellbeing, you might ask, “How do I feel when I review comments or favorites on my Instagram posts?” If you are interested in the places or genres in which you use texting language, you might ask, “In which contexts do I use text language? Are these uses more dependent on my audience, the context, my purpose, or the writing tool that I’m using?” If you are interested in the differences between self-sponsored and school writing in your life, you might ask, “How does my writing process (or mood or confidence) change when I write for academic and personal purposes?” Share your research question with your professor and your peers for feedback and discussion.
  • Write a 750 word research proposal. The purpose of this proposal is to convince your professor that you have read a bit on your topic, have a clear question that you can research, and a clear plan to analyze data to answer your question. Your proposal should include the following sections:
    • Introduction: Introduce the Broad Topic and Discuss Why It Should Matter to URI Students
    • Discussion of Research Question: What is it? How will this contribute to the discussion about the topic?
    • Literature Review: What have other sources said about this topic? Use the relevant readings from Level I and integrate 5 sources from your own research into your topic. Summarize each source and discuss how it helps you to answer your research question.
    • Data Collection Plan: What sources of data will you collect to answer your question? When? For how long? What are the limitations of this plan?
    • Plan for Coding and Analyzing & Interpreting Data: How will you sort the data into meaningful units and draw conclusions? What are the limitations
    • Publishing Your Findings: How will you share your project and results? With whom? In what mode or media? <—Discuss your poster here.
    • Project Timeline (List dates and tasks.) Find undergraduate examples here.
    • Works Cited List
  • Get feedback on your research proposal from your instructor before you begin collecting research.

Level III Activities

  • Conduct your research according to plan approved by your professor. Bring your data to class. Work with others to help you see patterns, outliers, and significance in your data. How does this data help you answer your question? What does it "say"? What examples from the data support your claim? Come up with two or three major "findings" with evidence from this research that help you answer your question.
  • Read the Do’s and Dont’s Section of Collin Purrington’s Designing Conference Posters. Review examples of previous student research posters below, paying attention to the layout, design, writing style, sections, use of photographs, color schemes, fonts, sizing and contrast, charts, etc.
  • Use one of these templates to produce a digital or large-scale hand-build mock-up draft of your poster.
  • Share with your instructor and take notes on the feedback.
  • Revise your poster, using the electronic templates provided. Making sure to edit and proofread all text carefully.
  • Once you have a rough draft of the poster, participate in full peer review of your storyposter draft. Either record the peer review or take detailed notes.
  • Write a metacognitive video about the effectiveness of your research poster. What worked and what didn’t? What would you do differently next time and how? How did you think about audience, purpose, and context? What decisions did you make about media, strategies, and arrangement for the activities and the materials? What conventions of the research poster did you make sure to include? Describe your revision process. Were you successful in achieving your goals? Why or why not? What did you learn about the role or place of writing in your life from this research?

Required evidence for to submit in Google Folders for this pathway:

Level 1

  • 250 Word Writing Response
  • 3 Thoroughly Annotated PDF texts, answering questions posed in Level 1
  • 500 Word Mini-Essay

Level 2

  • 750 word Research Proposal (Includes 5 additional outside sources)

Level 3

  • Large-scale poster mock-up (hand-build or digital)
  • Peer Review Summary or Audio/ Video Recording
  • Revised Digital Poster
  • Written Metacognitive Reflection


Designing Research Studies

Student Examples