Research Writer Interview With Rebecca
Reinforcing for My Writing Ability Through Teaching of Academic Research and Writing
Hi Rebecca! How long have you been in Education?
I started as a substitute teacher in 1990. An English department chair at a school where I was working told me I was a "natural", and that I should really think about teaching as a career. Less than two years later. I was enrolled as a student in the USC Accelerated Teacher Training Program and by January of 1993 I was hired as an English and ESL teacher at a Los Angeles middle school. Not long after that, I heard of an opening for a Drama and English teacher at one of the top 150 High Schools in the country. Since the school was located in Long Island, NY (where I grew up) and the position was for Drama (my undergraduate major), I jumped at the opportunity. Fortunately, I was hired; I went on to spend 18 years at this school, teaching Drama, Film and Research Paper Writing.
What is your experience teaching research paper writing?
Early in my career, I was approached by my supervisor and asked if I had an interest in teaching a course on Research Paper writing. Since I was in the process of completing my Masters degree at the time, research techniques and writing styles were things I encountered on a daily basis. Furthermore, the school had just opened a computer lab, and internet research was still in its infancy; I found that the traditional ways of researching were quickly being replace by more efficient (albeit more risky) methods of discovering information.
Tell us a little about your educational background.
After graduating with a Bachelor's degree in English and Drama from Hofstra University, I worked as a youth counselor and substitute teacher before enrolling in a Master of Science degree in Education from the University of Southern California. Several years later, I completed a 30-unit Certificate of Advanced Study at Adelphi University in Educational Leadership and Technology. I was accepted to and completed one year of a Doctoral program in Education at Hofstra, but withdrew for family health reasons. Most recently, I graduated from Full Sail University with a Master of Science in Educational Media Design and Technology.
What types of writing assignments did you do in graduate school?
As a graduate student, I completed the usual battery of Annotated Bibliographies, Literature reviews, Action research papers and Master's theses. I completed a Master's Thesis for both my USC and Full Sail Master's degrees, an Action Research exit project for my Adelphi CAS degree, and wrote a 30-page Literature Review and Dissertation Proposal for my EdD program before I left the program.
What are some of your interests outside of teaching?
I enjoy reading about technology and social media, and I have to admit I'm a bit of a "gadget addict". For fifteen years, I trained in martial arts, but after several injuries I now focus mainly on yoga and biking. I like to travel to new places when I can, and when I have the spare time, I love to shoot and edit short films and music videos.
Why do you think you're an excellent research writer?
Aside from the extensive experience I've had conducting academic research and writing papers through several graduate degree programs, I also believe the experience that I've had teaching research paper writing has been excellent reinforcement for my writing ability. Having to teach research and evaluate papers for students who are college-bound not only imposed high standards on me as both a teacher and writer, but has compelled me to become fluent in all aspects of research writing.
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