Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Reflection on paper submission to USC Undergraduate Writing Competition titled: “Why is corporate blogging relevant to business students?”

Writing this paper and reflecting on it is a great learning experience, and the major reflections started the morning after the submission in Professor Sandra Chrystal’s office.

Here is a summary of the dialogue that followed:

Professor Chrystal: “Fiona, here – take a look at your paper and tell me what you would do differently.”

Fiona: “Let’s see … (taking a look at the first page of the paper) … I would change the way I structured it.”

Professor Chrystal: “Here’s a pen, write the changes down.”

Fiona: “Starting on the part with my own research, I would place my findings under headings and then discuss corporate blog comparisons in light of the findings, linking this to why it is relevant to students. Under the heading, “Blogs develop corporate networks”, I need to single out specific blogs and show how these blogs develop networks and how this is relevant to students. What is also interesting is who is listed and linked via the blogroll of various corporate blogs.”

Professor Chrystal: “Do you think the Pew Survey information belongs where you placed it?”

Fiona: “Pew Study … (taking a look at page 3) … what I need to do is show how corporations network on blogs through use of the blogroll, leading into showing the growth of corporate blogs, and then introduce the Pew Study. A comparison of different survey findings would be useful – such as with Jupiter and the writers4business one. This establishes the importance of corporate blogs and why business students need to be aware of their uses and impacts.”

Professor Chrystal: “And what would you do differently about how blogs create a published history?”

Fiona: (Looking at page 1) I did not effectively show how students’ personal blogs affect their professional lives.”

Professor Chrystal: “What do students learn from blogging?”

Fiona: “Critical thinking, writing, and statistical interpretation (evidence).”

Fiona: (Looking at pages 6-8) “Yes, and the entire section on blog-use in the classroom, discerning between blogs in terms of authenticity, quality, and credibility, including the ethics section needs to move under the heading of “blogs in business involves learning to interact and write more effectively”. A summary comparison of blog ethics policies, such as Sun’s and IBM’s, would be useful. The paper needs to be reshuffled.”

Professor Chrystal: “What will help you restructure your paper?”

Fiona: “Stopping in the middle of writing it, walking away for a while, and then doing another outline?”

Professor Chrystal: “Yes, but also storyboarding – create a storyboard of your arguments with questions and answers. Or write down sentences starting with “This is true (referring to argument or answer) because…”

Fiona: (Light bulb went on).

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