Note:This is a student project from a course affiliated with the Ethnography of the University Initiative. EUI supports faculty development of courses in which students conduct original research on their university, and encourages students to think about colleges and universities in relation to their communities and within larger national and global contexts.

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Title:Misinterpretation of Text Messages among college students
Author(s):Rushing, Alonzo D.
Subject(s):Text Messaging
Three Layered-Analysis
Fall 2009
RHET 233
Abstract:In this research report, I talked about texting as a tool for miscommunication among college students. The first reason I found for miscommunication was vagueness in texts which leaves the reader’s imagination up to interpretation. The second reason I found was because of intertextuality and finally because of the structure of texts such as someone using all caps or lots of exclamation points. I used several approaches to reach my goal and those included surveys, interviews and analysis of text messages.
Issue Date:2009
Series/Report:Under the title of “Writing and Language in the University,” this course centers on two interrelated topics: language, including variations in dialects and registers and the ideologies surrounding those variations; and academic writing, including its many genres and disciplinary differences. As we read, write, and talk about these topics, we explore how writing and language can vary and what makes us consider a way of speaking “standard” or a way of writing are more “correct” or “appropriate” in university contexts than others. We then move on to apply these concepts to our campus by exploring how writing and language are used at UIUC. Each student identifies a specific aspect of writing and/or language at UIUC to focus on for their in-depth research project. They might, for example, look at the range of writing genres used within their major; compare and contrast the academic writing expectations of different teachers, classes, or majors; explore the speech or writing experiences of a particular language or cultural group on campus; or examine current trends in student language use such as texting or slang. In their research, they pull from a wide range of scholarly sources including advanced academic articles and books as well as their own original ethnographic research (interviews, observations, surveys, and/or analyses of University texts). At the close of the course, they not only will have produced a polished final research project, but they will also have the option to share their research with the wider university community through presentation and/or online publication. As part of the EUI (Ethnography of the University Initiative), this class gives them the opportunity to create original scholarly research based on their firsthand experience with people, texts, and places on campus.
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-05-20

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  • Technology and Student Life
    This collection appreciates and investigates the meanings and impact of new technologies on students' social lives, learning, and group formation.

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