Week 2 Starting your article

Reposted from Lost in the Maze of Languages

Week 2 Day 1

It is the first day of the week 2. The first day of each week usually requires reading of the whole chapter (almost) to give an overview of what we are expected to do each week. Today, the very first section talks about different types of articles and how much each kind weighs in the hiring process for a tenured professor job. I really appreciate this straightforward advice. One thing I learned for the short 2 years that I have spent in academia is that there are unspoken rules that I somehow need to figure out when I don’t even know exactly what I’m supposed to figure out. So, putting plainly what is important and not was almost refreshing to me. Luckily, the article that I’m working on is a research article which Belcher (2009) argues that has the most weight in a hiring decision.

In the next section, Belcher (2009) talks about the three myths about publishable journal articles and the three ways to make your article more publishable. Reflecting on my own article with these ideas, my article is approaching “new evidence in an old way (p. 50).” Using already explored three English ideologies in Korea (Park, 2009), I examined new data that I collected from Korean college students learning English. To make my work more publishable, I think I should present ongoing conversations on the topic in a more succinct but more thorough manner.

Lastly, the last activity is to pin down on the topic of my article. I was supposed to talk to someone for this activity but I wasn’t able to do that. So instead, I spoke out loud to describe my article, then summarize it and finally write it down in one sentence as below.

  • My article is about English language ideologies that Korean college students learning English enact in their written and spoken discourses.

Okay, this is the end of the day 1 in Week 2. I have planned 2 hours for the activities but it took a little bit longer than that because the reading is heavier than the rest of the days. Regardless, It feels great to get it done!

Week 2 Day 2 Rereading our paper

For today’s activities, I reread the paper that I’m going to work on for this project. This paper was originally from my Master thesis. Then for the conference presentation that I did in 2013 and for the class that I took, I revised my Master thesis into a conference paper. As I reread it, I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I was thinking, “this is not too bad actually!”; on the other, I told myself “Oh my god, there is no coherence in this paper whatsoever…” But, oh well, after all, I’m going to revise it again to make it better so I’m not going to beat myself up here.

Here are some revising tasks that Identified from the rereading. Since there are so many things that need to be done, I categorize them under the headings.

Introduction

  • Move research questions before the conceptual frameworks, and ask specific questions (around 2)

  • Move the second part of research questions to methodology section

  • Completely rewrite the introduction according to the revised research questions (i.e., English frenzy in Korea, English language ideology, and the affect on college students)

Conceptual Framework

  • Add more works on English ideologies/attitudes in Korea

Methodology

  • Add interview participant data

  • Elaborate more on sites (Univ. A vs Univ. B & C, how they are different)

  • Add a paragraph on my positionality and limitation

  • For the data analysis, briefly mention Park’s three ideologies (2009) and coding process

Results

  • What am I going to do with “Internalization”? Is this a separate category or not? Do I want to keep it?

Discussion & Implication

  • Summarize the results

  • Tie back to Introduction & conceptual frameworks

  • 1 paragraph to discuss implication and future studies

This is going to be a lot of work & rewriting. But it feels great to have these plans & outlines. All I need to do is just work on them!

Week 2 Day 3 Drafting your abstract

The task of today is to draft an abstract for my paper. Although I’ve written abstracts for this study couple of times before for my Master thesis and a conference, it was not easy for me to write it because I’m planning on substantially revising the paper after the rereading yesterday. Also, it was especially hard to write an abstract under 200 words. I had to reword and rephrase it a few times to make it short and ended up truncating it to 199 words. I might have to chop it even shorter if the journal I will later identify requires a shorter abstract. But for now, keeping it under 200 words is fine.

I sent the draft to my writing partner, Keira and I read hers too. I gave her some feedback. We’re supposed to give feedback face to face so we can have conversation around it. We’ll probably try to do it for the next meeting.

Tomorrow, we’re picking a model article. So I have explored a little bit which journals I want to submit to. This is getting more exciting!

Week 2 Day 4 Reading a Model Article

Today I chose and read a model article for my paper. I first explored journals that I’ll possibly want to submit my paper to. After looking into some of the journals that my favorite scholars published on, I picked out the journals as below:

  • Journal of Sociolinguistics

  • International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism

  • World Englishes

  • English Today

Then, I scrolled through the articles from the chosen journals. I chose one from International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. I liked the structure of the article that I chose a lot and the topic was related to mine so I decided on this one. (Belcher actually recommends choosing an article that is not related to the topic of your paper so you can focus on the structure and the logic of the article.) I jotted down some notes while reading the article. Here are the notes.

  • Title too long, Keep it under 12-15words

  • Abstract is very well balanced. It has every element needed: problem statements, a purpose of the study, methods, findings discussion and Implication.

  • Introduction

  • Nice structure: finding a gap -> Global trends -> South Korea

  • The link between the problem statements and the purpose is compelling. But where are the research questions?

  • Lit review: The ending is very good. It ties back to the current study

  • Findings

  • It can maybe better organized? or a little too much information in one article?

  • make good connections to the previous work

  • Conclusion= Discussion + Implication (very strong implications!)

  • Overall, I like the structure of the paper a lot. Also how it is about Park’s three ideologies like my study but it does not looks the sight of other studies on language ideologies.

I really like the article that I chose. I think it is an exemplary piece to learn the structure of a journal article. I hope I can write one like this one!

Week 2 Day 5 Revising your abstract

The activity for Day 5 had to be postponed till today since our Friday and Saturday were fully booked for the memorial day weekend. The activity was pretty simple; we just needed to revise our abstract. I was able to shorten the abstract to 166 words as Belcher (2009) recommends keeping it around 150 words. The feedback from my writing partner and examination of model articles really helped me. I could cut down many words by deleting research questions. After reading a few abstracts on journal articles, I concluded that I don’t need to write my research questions on the abstract. Keira (my writing partner) and I talked about whether or not we should add implications at the end. But I’d like to keep the implication in my abstract so I did.

We’re going to have a week-end meeting on Tuesday instead of Friday because of the long weekend. In general, I’m really happy with my productivity this week. I think the activities this week gave me a chance to look at the big picture of my plan for the article. Also, documenting when and how many hours I have worked helped revising my work schedule. I hope next week will be as productive as this week!

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