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Getting started

It was great to gather for the start of the Spring thesis journey last Monday evening. I am glad we have a mix of writers – a few of you are just starting, while Christina will be “wrapping up” in the next few months. For those of you who are starting the journey and setting your foundation (your project roots) this semester, please remember to send me your blog URL in order to syndicate your weekly blog here. Also, please remember to write your first blog reflection on your early thesis ideas. These ideas will surely evolve or even change, but I want you to start with your early thoughts and inspiration. We will be moving along with some basic prompts for discovery and invention in the next few weeks, and we will also take a look at the “Early Proposal” document together.

Meanwhile, Christina will fill us in on her progress on all things fan fiction. And I have some updates on some scheduled time with the librarians, and some possible time with alumni from our program as well.

WELCOME (OR WELCOME BACK)!

The start of the thesis is an open road…

For some of you, here we are at the second half of your thesis journey.  Last semester was filled with exploration, doubts, discovery, false starts, reading and vetting, and writing.  This semester you will gain the momentum necessary to complete a meaningful thesis project by May 1st.  That is the formal date set for your final thesis submission.

But for some of you, this is the beginning of your thesis journey.  Your work this semester will include a period of discovery/invention for exploration, a thesis proposal, the development of your lit review, and the formulation of a clear plan or outline for the project.  Please remember from the outset that writing a thesis is not easy. There are many twists and turns in the road, roadblocks do come up, and there are unforeseen landscapes that cannot be imagined until you cover ground and truly travel. That said, the more time you have on the road, the more of a chance you will have to discover. I look forward to working with each of you as you set a course and cover some significant ground on your own terms as you develop your culminating project for your Masters of Arts degree.  I am here to provide suggestions, feedback, resources, and insight; to prompt you to refine your thinking and take your work to another level. Sometimes you surge forth in the process and cover good distance “on the road” due to insightful feedback during a conversation. And sometimes you surge forth due to a long session of engaged independent reading & research. Oftentimes, inspiration hits at the most unlikely times ;).

The MA in Writing Studies @KeanUniversity is inherently a “customizable” degree, and I encourage each of you to follow a course for which you feel a spark of commitment and passion. I also encourage you to take risks in pursing forms of learning that matter to you personally. In my own experience, this is the place from which meaningful transformation is born. And if you are going to work hard at something, why not make it both meaningful and transformative on your own terms?

The site will serve to organize some shared resources for supporting your writing process while connecting our learning. It is also a showcase of your work this year (in progress).  We use our weekly meeting on Monday evenings to “conference” (I will say more about that this evening).  Each of you will have the chance to speak about your process individually for most of our class meetings.  

Tonight I will take you through the expectations and requirements for your thesis.  Looking forward to working with each of you!

Sincerely,

Dr. Zamora

Research Days, Spring 2020

I want to draw to your attention the opportunity to showcase your work at Kean Univerity Research Days which takes place in April on campus.  “Research Days” at Kean is a special time when both faculty and students celebrate the research that is being done at Kean.  Please consider sharing your work at this gathering.  More information below:

We can talk about what you might want to present at Research Days and formulate a plan for sure!

Shaping an early sense of the MA Thesis project

Shaping a sense of the project….

Some of you are just starting the process of discovery and invention for this thesis project. And some of you are well on your way, and have various elements “in the can.” At this stage, we have taken a look at the “Early MA Proposal” document shared on this site.  I will continue to speak with each of you this week about your project ideas, and that should serve as the basis for the formal articulation of your project in proposal form.  At this stage, you should be in the process of capturing some of your “project vision”. Please follow the guidelines posted in the Early MA Thesis Proposal Document in order to get the most out of this exercise.

Since you are each at various stages in the overall process, this week during class time we will touch base with all three projects and learn from each other as each project takes shape or (shapes up with more nuance and specificity) in a unique way. Each of you can learn something from considering each other’s proposal approach, no matter how nascent or evolved your proposal iteration might be.

Sincerely,

Dr. Zamora

On our way…..

This week we will have three separate or individual/one-on-one conferences to explore the start of the thesis process. I am aware that each of you has done some considerate thinking about this, and I am looking forward to getting a sense of the direction you would like to take your forthcoming work. I think that these individual “jump-start” conferences will help me get a sense of an overview of our possible synchronicity as a small group of researchers. I will be able to think more about how to integrate and set up peer support for your work moving forward. I really look forward to hearing from each of you.

Remember to post that first blog as a ‘preview’. I will be sure to syndicate your thesis blog on this site as soon as I receive your blog’s URL.

See you soon,

Dr. Zamora

WELCOME TO YOUR OWN JOURNEY….

The thesis road is yours to map-out and yours to discover…

Writing a thesis is not easy. There are many twists and turns in the road, roadblocks do come up, and there are unforeseen landscapes that cannot be imagined until you cover ground and truly travel. That said, the more time you have on the road, the more of a chance you will have to discover. I have no doubt that each of you will eventually “arrive” at the place of your own design. A place of insight and learning. A place where perhaps the outcomes were not the ones you originally anticipated.

Surprise twists and turns are a part of writing a Masters level thesis…

I look forward to working with each of you as you set a course and cover some significant ground on your own terms as you develop your culminating project for your Masters of Arts degree. I am here to provide suggestions, feedback, resources, and insight; to prompt you to refine your thinking and take your work to another level. Sometimes you surge forth in the process and cover good distance “on the road” due to insightful feedback during a conversation. And sometimes you surge forth due to a long session of engaged independent reading & research. Oftentimes, inspiration hits at the most unlikely times ;). I hope you will experience all of this.

The MA in Writing Studies @KeanUniversity is inherently a “customizable” degree, and I encourage each of you to follow a course for which you feel a spark of commitment and passion. I also encourage you to take risks in pursing forms of learning that matter to you personally. In my own experience, this is the place from which meaningful transformation is born. And if you are going to work hard at something, why not make it both meaningful and transformative on your own terms?

The site will serve to organize some shared resources for supporting your writing process while connecting our learning. It is also a showcase of your work this year (in progress).

Sincerely,

Dr. Zamora