I’ve found a danger to blogging a lot—someone might like what I’ve chatted about casually and then want me to turn it into an APA style manuscript. Yep! That’s happened! My little ramblings about Google forms have been converted to a formal paper, and are about ready to be submitted electronically to the scholarly folds of ASHA for a peer review and heavy edit.
I’ve learned quite a bit from this:
1. What is APA style? The last time I wrote a research paper, I used a typewriter—it was at least an electric typewriter. (Hey, I’m not that old!) Regardless, writing a paper and submitting it so it looks similar to what I see in my professional journals is a bit of a learning curve. Fonts didn’t really exist in my world back then. I’ve never written an ‘abstract’ or worried about including ‘table titles’ or website references. I’ve spent more than a few hours over the holidays learning about fonts, double spacing, and citations. (I feel I’m a more than competent speech pathologist—but my job descriptions since graduation in 1984 haven’t really included this.)
2. What is a SIG (otherwise known as Special Interest Group) in the ASHA world? I’ve never fronted the money but apparently each SIG has scholarly publications that the members (who pay $35 a year) can read and get CEUs. I’m hopefully going to be published in one of the SIG publications, although I may not be able to read my own published article since I’m not yet a member of the SIG. Maybe I’m not as poor as I think I am. Perhaps, I’ll turn over a new leaf now, and join a SIG—the one focusing on school-based issues now has me intrigued! I’ll keep you posted about this.
3. What is peer review? I actually already knew about this, but it’s a bit intimidating to submit something I’ve written to be edited and reviewed by people I don’t know. Right now, I’m using my 22-year-old daughter as my editor, but we think alike and readily critique each other all time about lots of things. The part about complete strangers reviewing my paper (that I don’t know how to write) is daunting to even consider. I’m sure that the reality is there will only be a couple of people on a computer that will edit my masterpiece, but my fantasy is that a large group will be earnestly talking about what I wrote. Ha Ha!
So, writing a formal paper is outside of my comfort zone. Why did I agree to this? Possibly, I was flattered that anyone even asked. Possibly, I never say “no” to anything. I need a ready-made script or a social story in this area.
I hope all of you are having a good start to the year! What’s done is done—I said “yes” and this has been great, albeit painful practice, and I’m sure that I’ll have a bit more editing to do. I’ll let you know how this challenge turns out.
This post is based on a post that originally appeared at Chapel Hill Snippets.
Ruth Morgan is a speech-language pathologist who works for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools at Ephesus Elementary School. She loves her job and enjoys writing about innovative ways to use the iPad in therapy, gluten-free cooking, and geocaching adventures. Visit her blog at: