Surfacing Anger and Anxiety in Graduate Research Writing: A Prose Poetic Journey


Research writing evokes feelings of anger and anxiety even among graduate students. Feelings are an inseparable part of the human lived experience and are important to learning and decision making. Research anxiety is powerful but not impossible to overcome. Various affective, cognitive, linguistic, and pedagogical mitigating strategies can be employed. By simply acknowledging its existence, we lead our students in the direction of doing just that...towards a transformational mindset to overcome research anxiety. Written qualitatively in the hermeneutic strand, this paper explores the lived experience and collective portrayals of the phenomenon of graduate research writing anxiety using prose poetry. The main forms of poetry qualitative researchers create vary from data poems or transcription poems, research poems, and autoethnographic poetry. Autoethnographic poetry is created by the author through self-reflection and writing to explore anecdotal and personal experiences and connect this autobiographical story to wider cultural, political, and social meanings and understandings. In this paper, the author writes from an emic perspective utilizing intertextual chaining to create an autoethnographic research prose poetry. The paper describes in rich detail, the dominant feelings about research writing anxiety and anger that surfaced from participants’ narratives of their shared experience of research writing anxiety. Prose poetry is written in paragraphs rather than verse but contains the elements of poetry, such as poetic meter, language play, and a focus on images rather than narrative, plot, and character.

Key words: research writing anxiety, poemish (research) poetry, prose poetry, autoethnography, hermeneutics


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