Statement of Scholarly Interest
Dr. John Misak
I strongly believe that all facets of a professor’s professional life, research, teaching, and departmental service, should work toward the same goal. My goal is to consistently adapt in order to better teach my students, so my scholarly ambitions center on pedagogy. My main focus has been composition and I use my researchh to create theories I can put into use immediately in these classes.
I have pursued my scholarly focus on composition in many ways. One area of scholarly interest is technology and its use in the composition classroom. I have worked on the use of video games as narrative in composition, along with the integration of mobile devices as composition tools for students. In my research I have discovered ways to use these technologies as tools to elicit better writing from my students, and to make my classroom a more interactive and collaborative space. Through my scholarly work, I have found ways to utilize mobile devices, once a distraction, in ways that help students create better drafts and be more productive outside of class. This practice has especially helped my international students, as it breaks down barriers to writing through the use of familiar technology. I believe the composition classroom will continue to morph over time as technology continues to advance and expect to be at the forefront of applying such technology in composition.
My interest in Eugene O’Neill’s later plays and how they can inform on personal writing in composition, the focus of my dissertation, has created other areas I will research. The research for my dissertation, on Eugene O’Neill’s later plays and how they can inform on personal writing in composition, has produced two elements I can continue to dissect in further scholarly work: a comp/lit pedagogy which includes O’Neill’s works, as they touch on topics familiar with students, and the concept of writing about one’s self and the strategies useful in the classroom to elicit such writing. With my experience utilizing drama, I also write about the deceit shown in O’Neill’s plays (and others such as Hamlet, for instance) and similar deception in popular media.
Because I am a creative writer, I am interested in the intersection between this form of writing and composition. Creative writing can teach discovery of language, of voice, and helps writers learn to shape and craft their writing for persuasive effect. I consider creative writing another tool to guide student writers in composition classes and continue to research effective ways of incorporating it into my classes. My research examines the use of creative elements within composition pedagogy can lead to better student writing. Through my scholarship in this area I expect to keep my classes more engaging and productive.
My research in these areas involves a qualitative approach, as I look for the relationship between technology, media, drama, and creative elements and their effect on my courses. I will actively work on the pedagogical results of such implementations through quantitative assessment and incorporate best practices within the classroom. I want my pedagogy to evolve over time and my scholarly research will help keep my classes interactive and dynamic spaces for students to improve their writing.