Thursday, April 2, 2009

Exciting Week...

Nothing too exciting happened this week with my RP draft. I worked a little more on it, and was able to get onto page 7. I still have a few more things to add from my blog last week, and I will be ready for the peer reviews in 2 weeks! I still think my draft is really good, and I am looking forward to class feedback!

I was going to add to my draft this afternoon, but had a fire in the field on the side of the house that I got to help put out. We had 5 different township firefighters here this afternoon. Needless to say, it was a little more excitement than I was hoping for today. By the time the fire was out, it was already time to start making dinner, but not before I took a much needed shower to get the black smoke off of my skin, and burnt particles of grass out of my hair.

As I have already workshopped some of my classmates drafts, I have taken note of some of the things they have done. I also tried my hardest to give helpful feedback to the two drafts already turned in. I am looking forward to feedback given on my draft, and hope that my classmates will try hard to help my draft better.

A sidenote on the papers due in the final portfolio; I think every piece exceeds my standards. I did have my econference on my RP draft yesterday, that went extremely well. I think that once I add in the few things professor Stewart told me to add, it will be a polished paper ready to be submitted in week 16.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Sitting on top of the rollercoaster

My research paper draft is coming together really great. I am pleased with what I have written thus far, and hope that I am able to finish strong. I have a few odds and ends in the body to complete, as well as write a dominant conclusion.
I have 6 pages complete of my draft, as I thought we were to have a minimum of five pages prepared this week for workshops. I was pretty excited to see that I am ahead of the game for once (it’s nice to be on this side). The feedback I have received thus far is very positive, and people looking forward to what else I come up with. In the outline workshop, somebody mentioned that I should compare what other countries do to help students with tuition. This would be a good thing to add into my body if I would fall short of the length requirements. However, with as much research is available about my specific topic, I do not think that I will have a hard time hitting the ten page mark.
I have been pretty successful at finding great quotes within my research to help add to what I am trying to say. Many of the things I highlighted in my initial reading of all of my sources have been extremely helpful with supporting my thoughts. The only thing I need to find out for sure is the right way to indent multiple sentences from one source in the same quote.
I have a few minor things to complete in the body section of my paper, as well as a come up with a great conclusion. I plan to complete these next week. The way to do this requires me to find the time to write the remaining parts of the draft.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

It's all coming together

My official, narrowed down research topic are the reasons for college tuition increases. I discuss ways from payroll to campus extravagance as reasons for tuition increases.

My intended audience is college students. I am also including their parents because they have to provide their financial information for the FAFSA form. Parents must provide their information on the FAFSA to help their child get financial aid, even if they do not support their child financially, until their child turns 24. I think this is my biggest frustration. I can prove that my parents do not support me financially, nor do they provide a place for me to live, but I still have to use their salaries to determine financial aid status.

I. Introduction:
A. College tuition increases every year.
B. With money available to students, there are ways to help them pay for their future.
C. Prices are in constant flux.
Necessity and tradition dictate the norms that dominate higher education; higher fees indicate business as usual, which isn’t about to change.

A. College tuition is a monopoly.
B. Are hikes acceptable?
C. Looking at increasing tuition bills scare many-what causes tuition to increase?
a. Payroll
b. Campus Extras
c. Pastimes
D. Who is impacted by increasing tuition
E. Scholarships
F. Extraordinary people without degrees
G. How some colleges used to determine “financial aid”

Tuition is based on standards of convenience and preference.

My outline is working pretty well for me this far, as I am almost half way through my paper. It took me a while to come up with an outline, but once it was completed, I was able to breeze through a rough draft of my paper. So far, I am extremely satisfied with the beginning draft. For once, I am actually anticipating group workshop next week, rather than completely dreading it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Research Paper-Organization...

This week was an inadvertent down week. I got vertigo and have been miserable and dizzy everyday and haven’t gotten much accomplished. I did, however, find the prompt for last week’s blog J and this week’s, so this blog is a combination of this week’s prompt and last week’s prompt as well.
The audience I am going to try to aim at is college students, and their parents. I am targeting them because my paper is about college tuition, which affects college students, and the parents of college students that have to provide their financial information for the FAFSA. Thinking outside of the box, I want college students to stick up for themselves and quit letting colleges increase prices for no reason other than because they can. This, I know is wishful thinking, but I often feel that colleges are raising prices because they are irresponsible with budgets. I also feel that them being able to raise tuition because government funding is increasing is a pile of crap. Schools shouldn’t worry about where their money is coming from, they should be happy as long as they are getting it.
An organizational pattern I am aiming for is keeping the reasons for tuition increases in logical order. Or, perhaps, I will discuss the most obvious reasons first, and the less obvious at the rear.
I think it makes sense to start with the most obvious, because readers would already be thinking about it anyway. I feel that I can very quickly get these out of the way, and elaborate and investigate other reasons easier.
After I discuss these to my heart’s content, I plan on discussing the many options to avoid tuition increases every year. There are many pieces of research I have found, that offer many interesting ideas. Some colleges even will lock in tuition for incoming freshman for the first four or five years they plan to attend that college.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Week 2

As I promised I would do this week, I read all of the 24 sources I found last week. I consider this a huge milestone in my paper progress. Normally, I wait until I am actually writing the paper to go pick through my sources for information. This week, I also narrowed my research to two papers I will write the rhetorical analysis on. After narrowing the research for my papers, I was able to formulate a rough outline for the draft. Once I completed the outline, I realized how much simpler writing the paper next week is going to be.

As far as the term paper goes, I haven’t exactly determined the angles I want to cover. I know I want to talk about college tuition, but am unsure in the direction(s) the paper will take. With the research that I have, I have good statistics in tuition increases for public and four year colleges in the past few years, as well as the percent increase since 1990. Another big theme incorporated in many of the research articles I have read, they speculate reasons for tuition increases. One of the main speculations is that the more funding the college receives in federal and state aid, the more the tuition increases. Some say that tuition is merely keeping pace with the inflation rates of everything else. Another major theme of the research I have read is the trend that students who graduate with a bachelor’s degree have about $21,000 in student loan debt. Another popular theme in my reading are suggestions on ways that colleges can still be successful without increasing tuition.

I think I want to narrow my audience to college students, but am not exactly sure how promising that will be. Hopefully after writing the rhetorical analysis, I will have narrowed my topic and have a better idea of what I want to cover for the final paper.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Research Blog-The Beginning....

The sources I am examining at this point for my term paper about college tuition costs are:, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes magazine, The Chicago Fed Letter, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and the U.S. News & World report to name a few.

Today, I had a major research session with an upperclassmen, and he was able to find many sources for me to sort through. Using EBSCO host alone, we were able to find about 25 different articles in a matter of an hour. Because we weren't able to meet until today, and I had class until 9 p.m., I have not had a chance to read through all 25.

Some titles that seem to have amazing points that I am looking for right now. Some titles that I am going to read tonight are: School for Scandal from Forbes, Chicago Fed Letter's The changin value of education, Colleges Seek To Address Affordability; As Tuition Continues to Soar, Some Offer More Grants, Ease Aid Formulas, Lock In Fees by the Wall Street Journal, tje Chronicle of Higher Education's College Too Pricey? Dont Blame Faculty Pay, and Costly Cap and Gown from the U.S. News & World Report.

Right now, I am extremely overwhelmed with research. I think there are two main reasons why. First off, was very stupid when I did my research in weeks past using EBSCOhost. I was looking for the HTML Full Text icon that was there all along. This icon tells you that you can view the source online and you don't need to hunt for the book or journal in print. Secondly, it's Friday morning, and I have less than 24 hours to read the materials, and complete my annotated bibliography draft. In those 24 hours, I have to sleep, shower, go to class, do homework, go to work, and tie up loose ends.

From here, I am going to read all of these papers in the next few days, and start narrowing my topic. I know I am being extremely vague in this blog, but that is due to my lack of time and my slight procrastination.