grad school, in english

I am sitting in perhaps one of the most useful doctoral seminars of my brief graduate career to date. A doc student who’s further along is talking, IN PLAIN ENGLISH (and for you non doc students, you have *no* idea how refreshing this is) about the process of doing a lit review and diss proposal. Shawna Bu Shell, a real dynamo in our department, just said (i’m paraphrasing):

When you’re first trying to articulate your questions, say your research idea/interest in one sentence in plain english. That way, other people will know what you’re talking about, and they’ll send you articles that they think you might find interesting.

Yes! (You may think this is super basic, but as Shawna pointed out, most faculty – and sometimes other students – thnk that once you’ve been admitted in a doc program, you know how to “be” a doc student and do these sorts of things. It ain’t true for the most part, and we tend to be too afraid to admit this. Thus, we get ulcers.)

So. For my 3 readers, at this point I am interested in:

– how do liberal arts college students use technology in and out of school, and what is the potential impact of these uses on a liberal arts education?
– what are the online literacy practices of bloggers, and what features of blogs enable or complicate these practices?

Send me articles! 🙂



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2 responses to “grad school, in english

  1. Melanie Farley

    Have you read “the laws of cool” by alan liu? if not you should.. it’s an interesting article because of its analysis of technology in a liberal arts classroom (specifically tying it/technology/”cool” to the study of literature). the end. happy researching!

  2. Sarah

    Hey Melanie,
    I hadn’t come across Liu’s book, but it looks really interesting. I’m definitely going to track it down. Thanks for the tip!

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