3: Reconsidering the semester project

No Prompt (extra entry): More thinking about my semester project

I believe my previous idea for the Research Proposal would be difficult to do without duplicating work for my classes. Regardless of whether this would be acceptable, I’m not interested in doing less work at a time when I need to be producing a lot in order to prepare for the conclusion of my coursework. However, I believe I’ve found an interesting opportunity in the reading for today—one that is in an area that is less trendy, which I like—and that opportunity might also still allow me to submit a proposal to ATTW.

Anne Beaufort’s chapter on Writing in the Professions in Smagorinksy provided a lot of sources about professional and technical communication, which, obviously, is one of my areas of interest. She notes, though, that methodologies in this field have often lacked “triangulation of data to increase validity,” have relied on self-reporting, and have ignored social contexts (234). If Beaufort is correct in perceiving this lack, then this is an area where new scholarship might be both welcome and useful. To take the idea further, Beaufort also mentions that work on gender differences in business communication represents a gap in professional writing scholarship (226). As this coincides with another of my areas of interest, this gap represents a real opportunity for me. I am now trying to think of ways to work within this space that will be highly relevant to my other research.

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