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Stephanie Albert April 7, 2014 English 1102

Reflection Letter Elizabeth Hinnant, Some words I would use to summarize this entire semester would be; analysis, primary, secondary, and observations. These select words categorize our learning through research. Walking into your class on day one, I was over whelmed by the thought of an ethnography, annotated bibliography, and EIP considering I had never written any one of them before. I had had some experience with writing ethnography but I knew this semester would not be the same. If you would have asked me the difference between primary and secondary research, I would not have had the slightest clue. Having to observe a group with an overall question in mind and then having to find scholars that agreed with you, was another major aspect I had no previous knowledge about. Throughout the semester I learned how to conduct such research and how to compile it into one final project. The exercises we did as a class, the assigned reading, and homework posts really furthered my learning this semester. In class activities such as group work, workshops, and work days allowed me to gain more insight and knowledge about the topic we were discussing that week. For example, when assigned to read Four Faces of Ethnography, I came back to class very confused and unsure how to decipher the four types from one another. After being split into groups, breaking apart a specific ethnography type, and having to create a way to teach it to the class, made the reading a lot more understandable and easier to refer to when writing my own ethnography. I learned that a classical ethnography best fit my personal writing style but at times it is more enjoyable for the reader and allows for more insight if you combine a few of them together.

Workshop days were very helpful throughout the semester. I find it very beneficial to gain peer input on my papers. Alternating ideas and brainstorming often gave me different ways to phrase or even construct an entire paragraph. Focusing on revising rather than editing was a lot more useful when it came to peer editing. It was straight forward and allowed for a lot of improvement. I personally did not want to turn in a paper unless it had been peer reviewed at least twice because more times than not, there was information in my paper that was either repeated or not necessary. One of my main struggles was deciding whether or not what I wrote really related to my overall thesis. By the end of the semester, I was able to notice this on my own after having so many examples to refer back to. Although there were only one or two work days this semester, they guided my learning as well. Coming to class just to work on our ethnography or annotated bib was useful because I could ask any question I had that very moment. I was able to work faster, get help from classmates, and ask your opinion on certain things before turning it in for a grade. This was a very small aspect of the semester but I included it because it really stood out to me as something that helped me this semester. Workshops and peer editing were only minor things we did this semester. It does not even begin to cover the amount of knowledge I have gained though observations and both primary and secondary research. When told to come up with a group to study and an overall question you wish to answer, the first thing that came to mind was Chik-Fil-A. It was not until working with a peer group that I decided to focus on how religion affects management and work style. I had observed the employees of Chik-Fil-A for three weeks (two days a week) and learned that doing research first hand is primary research. Along with interview questions, this covered the first goal of writing my ethnography. Compiling all of my findings and including interview questions was something I struggled with a bit at first. Relating back to the Four Faces of

Ethnography, I was not sure how to actually write my ethnography. I realized there were no set guidelines so I chose to categorize my findings by the different aspects of Chik-Fil-A that religion impacted. Some of those included, worth ethic, employee/ manager interaction, and customer/employee interaction. Another obstacle I faced while writing this was actually including how religion impacted each aspect. My paper at times lost focus. Like I stated previously, this was a major downfall of mine throughout the entire semester but at the end of it all, I was able to notice this on my own after the practice activities done in class and having other papers to compare it too. After writing the ethnography, which had nothing but primary research, we were sent off to find secondary research. It was not until we went to the library as a class that I learned how to find secondary research. Not all secondary research is peer reviewed but having to find a peer reviewed scholarly article was something I had never done until that day. We were told there might be some difficulties finding all five articles we needed but because religion in the workplace is very controversial, I found a lot of articles in a very short amount of time. The articles I found did not specifically relate to Chik-Fil-A but there were aspects from each one that made my argument stronger which only made for a better EIP. I found articles about Christian leaders and the impact it has on the workplace to have strong Christian morals and was able to converse with the authors to back up my argument stating that Religion in the workplace makes for a more positive environment. All of the secondary research articles were then compiled into an annotated bibliography. The annotated bibliography started out with a short summary and was followed by an in depth analysis of what we found important and how we could use this in our EIP. I did not have much trouble with this process but the one thing I found most challenging was picking out quotes from

the author that in some way supported my research. I say this because although the articles did correlate with my primary research, they were not as specific as my inquiry question. In a way it felt like I was digging deeper to make it clear why I was using that source. For example, I had one article that was about Muslims working at Target. This was the complete opposite from my overall thesis but after digging deeper, it was evident that other companies have religious backgrounds but still support all religions and are against discrimination. This was evident to my research because it disputed the controversy about Chik-Fil-A only choosing Christian employees. Although the annotated bibliography was something that was new to me, it was a good step in the right direction towards writing my EIP. Considering I had no clue what the EIP would really consist of the entire semester, the annotated bibliography cleared some of the confusion up. I mean that by saying I was not sure how to incorporate secondary research but having to do the analysis required me to go back into my ethnography and pull out parts that related to the article I had chosen. Overall, I learned how to cite sources correctly, how to summarize a ten page article in five sentences and most importantly, back up primary research with agreements from other scholars. The EIP was the final project we did this semester. I had all of the primary and secondary research I needed, but combining it was an entirely different task. I had five scholars that had a different viewpoint from the next and five articles that were completely different from one another but somehow they all related to my primary research. I found myself asking How in the world will these works? and at times I would wonder, There is no way all of this will make sense in the end. It was not until our teacher/student conference that I realized just how simple the EIP could be. The entire semester we had worked our way up to this point and it was just a matter of adding things in and backing it up with what I already knew.

I wanted to do a power point at first but because I am not technologically equipped, I realized that having to include videos and multimedia would have hindered my EIP. I chose to stick with the paper because it is more direct and was in a way, simpler because the ethnography itself was already written. The annotated bibliography came in handy at this point. All I had to do was go look at my annotated bibliography, use the quotes I had already pulled from all five articles, find where they best fit in my ethnography, and back it up by conversing with the author. The one thing I did struggle with was the actual conversing part. It was easy to just throw a quote in there and say I agreed but actually having to make it seem like I was talking with the author was not clear. It was not until the workshop day in class that I figured out how to make this possible. Simple words and phrases such as likewise, comparing to, and it is evident that, were things I could add to my sentences to show I was agreeing and why I was agreeing without actually saying I agree with this author because... I needed to include all five sources and like stated before, I was very unsure on how it would all flow. Adding in quotes into different subsections of my ethnography made this obstacle easier to overcome. Like you said in class, we need to make sure that the majority of our EIP is primary research, not secondary. My EIP flowed and was not full of secondary research, meaning I still had a voice, because I only included up to two quotes from each article. At the end, I created a small power point to share with the class just to show how Religion impacts different aspects of Chik-Fil-A. This semester was full of research and papers that actually had meaning. It was the first time I had to write a paper where the focus was not on grammatical errors. I believe that having to focus on how to actually write a paper and having to almost write it in steps will be very

beneficial for the rest of my college career. I now know the difference between primary and secondary research and how to combine the two to make it interesting to the reader/audience.

Sincerely, Stephanie Albert