September 16, 2020
At the 2020 Writer’s Retreat, I listened to moving creative passion projects and learned that my master’s thesis does not necessarily have to be a traditional research paper; rather, it is a passion project and can be a work of fiction. That new information gave me pause.
During my 2019 Summer Writing Workshop with Professor Keifer, I started a children’s book about Vietnamese refugees titled Boat Children and thought about writing a memoir. I started it, but then abandoned the idea. I found myself returning to my research proposal that I wrote for Dr. Nelson’s class.
Since I haven’t written a research proposal before, I found the task of writing a 25-page research paper along with an annotated bibliography intellectually challenging; even during COVID-19 and remote learning, Dr. Nelson refused to lower his academic standards. Trust me, we tried. We asked if he would omit the Annotated Bibliography. He gave us extra time, but we still had to produce a substantive research proposal with an annotated bibliography.
In retrospect, the last part of Spring 2020 pushed me to my intellectually limit. During the day, I taught myself remote teaching; at night, I was toiling away on my research proposal. By the middle of May, I was proud to produce a well-researched proposal on online grammar checkers. I learned how to create a bibliography using Zotero, research articles using Google Scholar, and write a literature review. I survived hours of IRB Training. I felt like a scholar!
I still have more work to do on my research proposal and look forward to revising my introduction, conducting more research on online grammar checkers, and developing my ideas.
Most importantly, I firmly believe that this research will help my students.