martedì 19 maggio 2009


hi guys, here's my personal learning environment!

venerdì 8 maggio 2009

The risks of the Internet

This subject is very interesting and very complex at the same time. The Internet has completely revolutioned our lives, it influences us in lots of ways and has become part of what we are, of our culture. Let's say it clearly: not only as a student, but also as a person, I am aware of the fact that I can't live without it anymore.

In this perspective, it is fundamental to be conscious of the risks that the Internet can bring. Some examples: privacy violation, plagiarism, fake information, unwanted violent contents, immense amount of information. What can we do to avoid these problems? I think the only solution is awareness: we can't change how the Internet works, but we can change our approach towards it. You can avoid risks only if you know them.

Reflecting on the risks of the Internet, I think something else must be mentioned. It's something that goes far beyond the field of information and the language learning issue. Well, I think one of the greater risks of the Internet is its consequences on our social relationships: all these tools that permit to communicate with everyone just make relationships superficial. It's just too easy!! I mean, do you really communicate when you use Facebook??

I don't know, maybe I'm just old-fashioned..but I am afraid that in the long run we are going to lose the capability to really relate to people, communicate to them, TALK to them!!! And how about the linguistic aspect??? I could go on and on discussing these issues, but this post is not the right do you think?

To conclude, I didn't mean to say I am against the Internet, not at all. I am totally aware of the great possibilities it gives us, and I take advantage of them every day. But like everything, it has to be used in a proper, responsible and not superficial way. Just be careful!!

giovedì 30 aprile 2009

Google Docs

This week we learned how to use Google Docs, another magic tool available on the Internet. The purpose of Google Docs is sharing documents: whatever you are writing, you can put it there and share it with other people.

The fact that you can have your pieces of writing on the Net and share them with other users seems to be very useful for more than one reason.
First of all, now we have a place where we can put our written documents being almost 100% sure we're not going to lose them (I know several people who were stolen their pc with their thesis in..the only copy they had! It's better not to risk..)
The other fundamental function of this tool, as I already pointed out, is the sharing function: your documents are there, and they can be edited by other people. This can be great when you work in groups: you don't need to have thousands of versions of your work and look for the right one everytime! What's more, I think Google Docs could also be helpful for us when we'll be writing our final thesis: besides having it there safe and sound, we could share it with our supervisor and get our corrections there, saving time and paper!

In class we had to look at a document that we shared and edit the references in the bibliography following APA style. Sometimes it was quite hard to find what we where looking for, and we had to be very precise and punctilious (very difficult thing for me), but Google Docs made the whole thing easier and faster.

I like the idea that we can take advantage of other people's knowledge, and, of course, be helpful for other people by sharing our knowledge with them.

domenica 26 aprile 2009


Hi girls, today I'm going to comment your posts on plagiarism. Your posts are both well written and well structured. You managed to be coincise, precise and clear. I agree with you Francesca when you say how the limit between plagiarism and influence is not clear-cut: in anything we write, say or think we are influenced by someone else. Especially in academic writing, reporting someone else's theories and thoughts seems to be something we can not avoid. Now we know how to do it properly! Giorgia, I like your idea of Dos & Dont's. The tips you both listed are very useful.

As far as the linguistic aspect of your posts is concerned, I didn't find big mistakes..just a few suggestions:

-Talking about plagiarism you wrote: 'I have to admit that its concept is not very clear to me'...maybe 'this concept' here would be better!
-You wrote 'other's work' and 'other's ideas'...isn't it better to write 'others' work' and 'others'ideas' here?
-'something that regard us' forgot an s: 'something that regards us'

The only mistake I found is this: at the end you write '...any kind of suggestions on referencing issue' I think the plural would be better: 'referencing issues'!

That's it for the moment...see you!

mercoledì 22 aprile 2009


Both APA and MLA are referencing styles: they explain in details how to deal with citations and references in writing.

While APA treats a larger number of aspects regarding style, like structure of the page, footnotes, abstract, etc., MLA is more concentrated on referencing and citing, telling you how to write a reference of ANY type of writing available in the world!!

Instinctively I prefer APA, it looks clearer and easier for one's eyes!

Some basic differences concerning the styles in referencing a source are:

-APA uses italics for the title, while MLA prefers underlining it.
-APA tends to use the initial for the name of the author, while MLA tends to prefer using the complete firstname.
-APA puts the year of publication right after the author's name, while MLA puts it at the end of the reference.

Anyway, these are pure matters of choice: no style is better than the other. The important thing is once you've choosen one, you have to keep using it.

Without realizing it, in my BA thesis I used APA style, which my Professor recommended me.

martedì 21 aprile 2009

Readability 2

Should blog posts follow the features of a readable text mentioned in the previous post?I think that they should, like any other kind of text. Every writer should be interested in making their text easily comprehensible. So, any post that has a certain consistency should follow these five rules. If we want our blogs to be taken as a serious means of information and communication, we need to make sure they are also well written.
More generally, I think school and university should insist more on these writing issues!


A readable writing should be:

-well structured
-clear, precise and concise

Today I'm going examine a research article found on the Internet for my final thesis, trying to see if it presents the features of a readable text, which I have reported above. The article I choose deals with translation of comics; I'm not sure I'm writing my thesis on this topic yet, but I find it an interesting field, which I would like to know more about. The writer is Federico Zanettin, and the title is: "Comics in translation studies. An overview and suggestions for research". Let's see:

1. Does it follow the hourglass structure?
Yes, it does. The article presents an introduction, a body and a conclusion.

2. Is there a logical flow of ideas?
The article doesn't really follow a logical order. As the title says, the text is "an overview": it considerates a series of aspects regarding the translation of comics, which do not necessarily constitute a logical flow of ideas. However, I don't think the choice of the order of the themes is casual. The aspects treated are conceptually connected.

3. Is the text cohesive? What is done to make it cohesive?
Yes, the text is cohesive. The use of connectors and linking words is appropriated. Connectors are not 'over used': the aspects presented are already 'conceptually linked', so often they are not needed.

4. Is the writing clear or complex?
I think the writing is very clear; probably, the fact that the writer is Italian makes the text more understandable for Italian readers. Anyway, the author doesn't use too complicated syntax nor terminology, and he often gives examples that make the comprehension easier.

5. Who is the text's assumed audience? What indications of this do you have? How does this influence how the text is written?
The text is clearly addressed to an academic context: it refers to previous academic writing on the topic, it aspires to be a suggestion for further research. Then, the readers will presumably be people with a certain knowledge on comics: specific terminology is used, there are references to many comics from different countries and epoques. As I already pointed out, this does not imply a too complex structure.