I’ve got pretty much everything on hold right now as I attempt to draft out my exam proposal. I thought I was getting some generative writing done, and then a friend sent me *his* proposal draft, and now I find that what I’ve been hacking at has been crap all along.
Crap, I tell you.
This exam stuff is strange. As far as I understand it, the proposal outlines the area(s) from which your examiners construct questions. I’ve been trying to work it backwards, so that I can better focus what questions might be, but my writing feels stilted, novice, trying-too-hard, and completely audience-unaware.
So frustrating. What a strange genre. Maybe I should attempt to construct the draft as a letter:
Dear Exam Committee:
The questions I’d like you to ask me concerning rhetoric and technology should deal with issues surrounding ideas of authorship/ethos, readership/pathos, style/perspective, and public/private spheres as such issues are transformed and shaped by social software (weblogs and wikis, mostly, but I’m open to others as well).
The questions I’d like you to ask me concerning action research are: what the heck is it, how can composition as a field use it both in the classroom and in professional scholarship, and how can/does it broach/bridge the academic- and pop-culture divide?
The questions I’d like you to ask me concerning feminist methodologies are: what do feminist methodologies in composition and rhetoric look like, what do they mean for the academic- and pop-culture divide, how can we reconcile them with traditional “scientific” methodologies, and how do such methodologies shape and inform product genre?
Thanks for asking me the questions I wanted to answer.
Madeline the lame-o can’t-write-a-proposal-to-save-her-life student.