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CASLL-L  January 2009

CASLL-L January 2009

Subject:

Re: Dissertation Woes

From:

Kathryn Alexander <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

CASLL/Inkshed <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 25 Jan 2009 17:45:04 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Dear Stephanie,

I have encountered an issue in my work across the disciplines - which is the potential problem that PhD students in professional degrees such as Education might have with cross-disciplinary citation practices- especially where the field has a great deal of disciplinary diversity in the manner that reporting expressions, citation and "voice" and sources can be organized ( i.e from qualitative narrative research, analytical philosophy to psycho-metric quantitative studies. ) Some students get into trouble because they fail to discern how disciplinary styles of argument, validity, and citation function in different methodologies and disciplinary cultures.

When  I was doing my graduate studies I observed two occasions where inter-disciplinary Education doctoral students nearly failed their defences because they confused rhetorical practices of philosophical argumentation with empirical research methods, and  thought their job was to ventriloquate the analytical philosophers they were emulating and reading. 

It seemed  that even though they had substantial feedback from their supervisor, they took the close editing commentary as too critical of their ideas and disregarded the APA based guidelines when it applied to ideas.  It seems their conceptual claims were also woven through with empirical studies and they had large sections of unattributed conceptual analysis in their texts, that they thought were now their own voices because they were using the philosophical texts as tools for thinking about their research sites.  

 It's confusing I know, but I think this was an example of ignorance of how to use reporting expressions and how citation functioned as a means to "speak like an expert"  and was not intentional plagiarism or misconduct. In our program, which had long completion rates, mature students were more or less on their own and not integrated into the typical scholarly communities and so it was a possible "inventing the university" situation too.

The students were not international EAL speakers either, had each written MA theses in different areas of education and I believe that this was a speech genre/community of practice problem and good example of disciplinary confusion/ incommensurability.

I have no idea how this might add to your work, but I'd look at inter-disciplinarity as a factor.

Best

Kathryn Alexander

----- Original Message -----
From: Stephanie Bell <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Friday, January 23, 2009 1:15 pm
Subject: Dissertation Woes
To: [log in to unmask]

> Hello all and happy Friday,
> 
> I'm a PhD student in composition theory & pedagogy working under the
> supervision of Dr. Catherine Schryer at the University of 
> Waterloo. I've
> recently completed my field exams and have moved on to 
> transforming my pile
> of previous grant proposals into a viable (and, ideally, useful)
> dissertation project on some aspect of citation practices and/or 
> academicmisconduct. Thus far, I haven't been very successful.
> 
> Since I'm not getting particularly far with the invention stage 
> of my
> dissertation on my own, I've decided to seek input on the gaps 
> in the field
> of citation/misconduct that (writing) instructors would be 
> interested in
> having filled.
> 
> My current interest (and work at WLU's Writing Centre) is in 
> teaching the
> complex citation practices involved in an author's critical 
> engagement with
> source material as a means of facilitating student access to academic
> discursive communities as well as preventing student misconduct.
> 
> I am open to *any* project ideas regarding any aspect of 
> citation and/or
> misconduct. I've been mulling over possible projects on citation 
> from the
> following perspectives:
> 
>    - Student enculturation/community membership
>    - Assignment design
>    - Course design – specifically writing-intensive 
> course design
>    - Discipline-specific citation practices (i.e., 
> Hyland, 2000)
>    - Policy & institutional frameworks for dealing 
> with plagiarism (i.e.,
>    Price; Howard; Park)
>    - Current approaches to teaching citation (i.e., 
> content courses,
>    bibliography courses, writing-intensive programs, 
> texts like Graff,
>    Birkenstein, Durst's They Say, I Say: The Moves 
> that Matter in Academic
>    Writing)
>    - Theories of idea ownership and language 
> (Foucault; Bloom, 1973;
>    Volosinov; Bakhtin)
>    - The history of citation practices  (Ong, 
> 1982 (although it's not the
>    focus, it does touch upon practices of repetition 
> and formula as mnemonic
>    devices in oral cultures); Macfarlane, 2007)
> 
> 
> Thanks for your help,
> 
> Stephanie
> 
> 
> -- 
> Stephanie Bell
> PhD Candidate
> English Language & Literature
> University of Waterloo
> [log in to unmask]
> 
>                 -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
>   To leave the list, send a SIGNOFF CASLL command to
>   [log in to unmask] or, if you experience difficulties,
>          write to Russ 
> Hunt at [log in to unmask]
> 
> For the list archives and information about the organization,
>     its newsletter, and the annual conference, go to
>               http://www.stu.ca/inkshed/
>                  -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Kathryn Alexander, PhD,
Assistant Professor,
Writing, Rhetoric and Professional Communication,
Faculty of Arts and Humanities,
University of Western Ontario,
London, Ontario
(519) 661-2111 ext. 80472
http://www.uwo.ca/writing/



                -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
  To leave the list, send a SIGNOFF CASLL command to
  [log in to unmask] or, if you experience difficulties,
         write to Russ Hunt at [log in to unmask]

For the list archives and information about the organization,
    its newsletter, and the annual conference, go to
              http://www.stu.ca/inkshed/
                 -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

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