Week 3 Drafting your argument

Reposted from Lost in the Maze of Languages

Week 3 Day 1 Advancing your argument

The start of a new week! I mean, it is Tuesday but it feels like Monday because of one extra day off thanks to memorial day. I wanted to start the week yesterday but it was hard to focus. Actually, it was a bit harder for me to get myself start today because of the post-workout soreness that started since yesterday. My writing partner, Keira had this problem the whole last week, which turned out to be an infection not muscle pain from the work-out as she initially thought. Anyhow, so it was a little hard for me to focus today too.

Keira and I had a meeting to wrap up the first week and to forecast the week 3. We both were confused on the fact that we were supposed to write at least 15 minutes a day IN ADDITION TO the daily activity. We thought it would have been a better idea if the book explained on this one more clearly. Still, I think we both wrote more than 15 minutes a day anyway since we both writing a daily log on this project on our blog. But, this week we’re going to try to use those 15+ minutes to work on our paper.

The activities on this week involves developing the arguments of our paper. The first writing activity of today was related to the topics that I previously discussed. We are to reflect the lessons learned from the previous week’s writing experience. Thinking back, I think planning the writing time in advance worked out greatly. I was able to log on my progress of 5 days on this blog and as I have talked about past week, it is a great feeling to look at the final draft of my writing on my blog. One thing I noticed is that I cannot seem to work straight for two hours as I planned. I talked to the people in my writing group and was distracted by emails and other SNSs. But I think it was a healthy amount that did not hinder the completion of each day’s task. This week, I want to carry on this productive vibe from last week although today hasn’t been an ideal day.

The workbook for day 1 of the week 3 discusses the common reasons for rejections of submitted articles (Belcher, 2009); I have summarized the points of consideration as below:

  • The scope of article

  • Scholarly relevance

  • Originality

  • Structure

  • Significance

  • Theoretical/ Methodological rigor

  • Writing mechanics

In the second part of today’s reading, Belcher (2009) discusses the importance of an argument and the ways in which we can make sure our article has an argument. Reading and considering this part, I felt so lost because this felt so overwhelming. I don’t know what argument my article has and revising it around an argument sounds like a huge amount of work that I’m not sure I can finish for the rest of the weeks left. So I revisited my model article that I read last week. Although I cannot completely be freed from feeling overwhelmed, I think I have a faint idea of what an argument is and how I can find it from my article.

Overall, this week and the coming weeks will be tougher than the last week. And quite frankly, I am pretty concerned now. I guess it’s a good thing that I’m doing this with my writing partner. Otherwise, I would have given up already. Hopefully, I can get my argument right and feel better tomorrow!

Week 3 Day 2 Drafting your argument

Despite my concerns yesterday, the activity of today wasn’t too hard. As Keira and I both felt, it was a bit confusing though. We weren’t exactly sure how this is different than drafting an abstract. I mean, I get it now. By writing up a statement of my argument, Belcher (2009) wants it to stick in our mind so the argument can guide our paper. But at first it wasn’t as clear.

I drafted the argument and the pieces of evidence for my paper. With the argument in mind, I reread my abstract and see if it clearly states the argument. I think I did a decent job of it. I had my husband read and tell me what he thinks I am trying to say here. Although he was able to tell me my argument, the first thing he told me was what I said in the problem statement. I wonder if this is natural since the problem statement comes before the argument/purpose. I do think that I should rethink the way I link between the problem statement and my argument thought. To do this, I think I should read more research on language ideology and its effects on the language users.

Today overall, I just struggled not to fall behind. Last week I felt that I was on top of things but this week it was hard to keep up because we lost Monday from this work week, and then I was a bit under the weather yesterday so I had some loose ends to tie up. I mean I still do. Hopefully, I can get more work done tonight so I’ll feel better tomorrow.

Week 3 Day 3 Reviewing your article for argument

This is an overdue posting from yesterday. It was a rough day. I debated for the longest time whether or not I should submit my proposal to TESOL conference. The big reason for this was one, I don’t even know which continent, much less which country, we’ll be next year, and two, TESOL and AAAL decided to take some time off from each other next year. Normally, the two conferences happen in the same city or in two very close cities back to back. But next year, TESOL will be in Baltimore, MD and AAAL will be in Orlando, FL. As far as I know, I think this is the farthest the locations for the two conferences will be away. So, this further complicated my decision making. But, I just decided to submit my proposal at the last minute and worked on it the entire first half of yesterday. I’m happy that I’m submitting my proposal but I don’t know what the outcome will be like. Frankly, considering the last year’s rejection, I’m not going to get my hopes up, although I already checked the plane ticket price between Baltimore and Orlando…

Because of the intensity and amount of work that I put into the proposal I was really tired. So I finally opened the Belcher book at like 10pm last night. I was able to finish the task but didn’t get to write them since it was so late and I was too tired by the time I was done. The activity was helpful but quite confusing. It asks you to reread your paper and see if the article is written around the argument. But it was confusing because the frame it structured the activity around was not exactly how I structured my paper. So with the Belcher’s questions and suggestions in mind, I identified some revision tasks following my own structure of the paper. And time and again, we’re going to revise our paper today and tomorrow according to the tasks identified. It is frustrating how I constantly have to shift my paper/outline every time I see it. But maybe that’s just what a journal article writing is about. Revision after revision.

Week 3 Day 4&5 Revising your article around your argument

The tasks for the day 4 & 5 was to revise my article around the argument that I have drafted. I first wrote the outline of the article based on the revision tasks that I identified on the day 3. Then I reread the article to make sense of it around the argument. I’m still not 100% satisfied with my argument… I mean, if I think it’s just a research question I think it’s okay. But something about calling it an “argument” makes it sound like it has to be really logical and convincing. I mostly worked on the overall structure and the methods section since that is the easiest one to work on now. I did not even look at introduction because I think I’m going to completely change that section. This revision task is something that should be on-going from this week on. What I’m trying to do is to set aside 15 minutes exclusively for the revision of the article. That is actually what I should have done from the get-go but at first I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do with the 15m writing and also I wasn’t sure how I should revise my article exactly. I think I definitely have a clearer idea about the direction of the article. This week has been tough overall. I hope next week will be a better one!

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