domenica 10 maggio 2009

E-tivity 8
Some of the terms in the New York Times site’s article were unknown to me:
To quit
To pillory
Besides having learnt something more about terminology, in the article there were arguments galore about privacy violation in Facebook. I must admit that I’ve always been curious about functions of this program and once I’ve also felt uncomfortable when I knew that some friends of mine started to keep in touch with each other by using it much more often than to meet outside.
Initially, I felt excluded from that “world” but then I realized that if you want to be part of it, you must show yourself. This is a rule I don’t like much. Surely, every expert user of social network is well aware of the risk of disseminating personal information to large numbers of people, and this leads me to think that they have probably accepted the rule.
But what about the revealing and withholding of personal info? This question is also a sort of unease which seems to become more and more widespread. And you peers, what would you answer? Do you have Facebook?
See you soon
Bye -Arianna;)


giovedì 30 aprile 2009

Sharing documents

This week I’ve learnt how to use Google Docs, a program in which you can share documents with your friends and colleagues. It is very useful because you can edit a work and see also editing from other persons who want you to see and collaborate to it.
At first sight, it was kind of difficult to understand how this program worked because I’ve never actively used it and just heard about it. However, I finally managed to share my corrections to the reference list document for E- tivity 7 with my peers and Sarah.

In my opinion, Google Docs would be a useful instrument for thesis or researches, if only there were professors willing to use it! This would be an easier way to edit a work by simply staying at home and sending corrections to a professor at the same time.
See you soon!
Bye Arianna

mercoledì 22 aprile 2009

From my understanding of what are the main differences between MLA and APA styles, I can say that MLA (Modern Language Association) is mostly identified as a parenthetical references style. This should be done in order to provide reference sources to quotation one makes in its work. APA style or the American Psychological Association is maily used within the field of social sciences. When writing a paper, some basics about APA style are to avoid all first person pronouns or points of view. However, in my BA thesis, I was told to write a brief introduction about the choices I made for writing the thesis. As a consequence, I must use my personal point of view. Therefore, my question is whether or not a personal point of view would be accepted for a brief introduction in one of the two styles. Another difference I noticed between the two styles is that, when writing titles of books or periodicals in a reference list, while the APA mostly admits the Italics, for MLA underling is preferable. For example, for my BA thesis I used APA style in the reference list.
See you soon
Bye bye Arianna

giovedì 16 aprile 2009

academic vs creative style?

Since I am preparing my exam for English Medieval Literature, the research article I have come across is about a Norwegian project titled MEG, Middle English Grammar.
The purpose of the project is to transcribe 1000 original medieval texts and then transform them into digital texts. In 2006, the MEG project was funded by the Research Council of Norway for about 6.1 million NOK.
For much grammar and the history of the Middle Ages might seem boring to me, last semester I had the opportunity of attending the course of Germanic philology at the University of Padova. According to the Oxford Advanced learner’s dictionary, philology is the scientific study of the development of language or of a particular language. The course study was really useful because I could study in depth the history and language of the Nordic countries and of Germanic people. This gave me the basis to understand some aspects of English Medieval Literature, and the Middle Ages history became even more interesting and clearer. Moreover, according to the research article I found, MEG project’s group of researchers at the University of Stavanger in Norway have recently created a collection of texts from the Middle Ages which has been transcribed on the University web pages. Let’s see how and when the research started.
Few years ago, two philologists from Stavanger begun travelling around Britain in order to study handwritten manuscript from the 1300-1500. Today, other master students, post doctors and professors from both Norway and Britain, in particular the universities of Glasgow and Oxford, also participate in the team work.
Therefore, through computer technology, the goal of their research has always been to create a database filled with all thousands of text in order to make it function as a kind of dictionary. Just to make few examples, it would be easier to see all variants of a word or how language changes in time and even to make researches quicker.
So far, I have made a brief description of the main aspects of the article which available at:
As to text structure, in truth, the article is adapted material from the original one. Anyway, it presents a number of ideas which are reliable and worth of analysis. The article does presents the hourglass structure because it starts with a general introduction, then it explains in details the fields of study of the research and finally ends up telling what is the purpose and utility of the research.
Now, I was asked to analyze the structure of my research article and to answer if a blog post should follow some of the points I used for telling you about the article, that is: hourglass structure, logical flow of ideas, text cohesion, clear or complex writing. In my opinion, I think the structure of a blog post should always follow the first three points above and be clear. However, in my opinion, a personal blog is always something free depending on one’s own creativity only. According to this creativity, one can decide how to communicate with other people.
Finally, something for my peers: we were asked to find an academic research article, study its structure, writing, style. Now I don’t think any of us is writing their posts in an academic style or something. Since I still believe our blog is free and expression of our creativity, does creativity obeys to any academic rules? Obviously, if one wants to communicate in an effective way must be coherent, cohesive, clear, etc. but you learn it even at the high school.
See you soon and give me feedback if you want, that is what I really need!

mercoledì 15 aprile 2009

Yesterday, I did some research to find useful websites on IPR which is an acronym for “Intellectual Property Rights”. But what is intellectual property? To answer this question I tried to search for material that could help me in understanding the issue. Then I find own-it whose latest news, dated 14th April 2009, was titled “What is intellectual property?” Experts of this Website define IP as a way of classifying “most of the world’s creative output and content (including possibly yours)”. As they exemplify, products, inventions are protected by patents and design rights; literary, artistic and musical work are protected by copyright; and brand names, words, sounds and even smells are protected by trade marks. Moreover, by saying “all your mental and creative outputs can be transformed into tangible ‘commodities’ so that you license, sell, trade, divide or retain rights to those commodities.”, it seems that they want to catch the attention of any readers who wish to create or invent something new (for quotes see :
However in the same webpage, what interested me mostly was a short article titled “Harry Potter downloads spell trouble for e-book site”. This article explained how the three famous writers Ken Follett, Aravind Adiga and JK Rowling have publicly criticized the site for hosting copyright material. Now, is also one of the bookmarks I have in my delicious account and from he article I’ve learnt that even though Scribd’s policy, like You Tube’s, provides for the removal of copyright infringing material, it does not actively monitor hosted content. Anyway, I hope there will be a solution to the problem because, as it is said in the article, Scribd’s policy is to remove copyright material when notified of it, but also, in my opinion, remains to be one of the best alternatives for students of having an idea on books they really need to buy.
Another important thing I’ve learnt so far is to protect my files using that you can find at
Once, in one of my postsblog I downloaded an image from my computer. Then I clicked on this image with the right button of the mouse and what came out was the window with different options including “Save image”. Therefore, I realized that even unknown persons, who happened to visit my blog, could take my image and use it without carrying about my “creative intellectual property”. As suggested on Blogging English webpage of our mentor Sarah, one possible solution would be to protect files by registering myself on, a website that adopted Creative Common License, that is to say I can share files and protect them by deciding what others can do with my work. Here by uploading an image, the file would become public and therefore visible to anyone, but at least given a minimum of protection guarantee. Let’s see if it’ll be worth of ;-).
See you soon!

sabato 4 aprile 2009

Last Wednesday’s lesson I discovered new tools to explore the Web. It was an interesting experience and it will be a valid support for collecting information for my thesis. One of the new tools I have learnt is Google Books which is a website in which various publishers have published parts of books o the Web. So for example if I am looking for a book, I can start searching on Google Books and read some pieces before buying it. Actually, the website publishes only some parts of a book and it is not possible to download or copy it on the whole. Also, I found which is a sort of You tube for books.
However, even though the Web is undoubtedly one of the widest existing sources of information, how can one be sure of authenticity and validity of its content? That was another question my class and me focused on last Wednesday. Therefore, we tried to make a list of useful criteria to judge information sources, for example:
Identity of the author
Purpose of an article or document ( basically, whether is has a commercial or educational purpose)
Reliability of the content
Institutional identifier of URL
Date of creation
Style of writing
Other important tools for research we discovered were checklists presented in some Universities’ website about evaluation of Internet information sources. For example, in the website of San Diego State University one of the most reliable information sources are University or departmental websites. As for my habit, I use this source quite often because I consider it trustworthy and a direct way to communicate with my professors and their works.
And you my peers? Do you prefer books or the Web as source of information?
In my opinion, the Web is the most suitable to look for information on books but to study I definitely prefer books!

martedì 31 marzo 2009

Sharing bookmarks!
Jarkko Laine is so right!
He is the creator of North East blog, which is a blog on ten practical tips for writing in English. I found this website among Ilaria’s bookmarks and what cached my attention was Ilaria’s brief description in notes:’[…] article published by a man living in Finland who wants to give 10 practical tips for writing blogs in English […] in order to reach more than a handful of people’. This man lives at the Northen end of Europe and through this blog he gives many useful advices on how to master a language which is not one’s own language. The most important thing in is practical guide is that he tries to talk always about learning process as a pleasure activity, especially when it comes to the 10th tip on Relax: ‘[…] and enjoy your writing […] you have to put lot of effort, but it’s not going to happen overnight.’
Another interesting website I explored is Chiara’s bookmark on how to write a resume. It is undoubtedly a contemporary one especially because it deals with the 2009’s collapsed economy. Therefore, I suggest to go and visit
Then, unfortunately I must admit that I haven’t got in touch almost at all with British slang and maybe Martina’s website will be another chance for me to explore more this branch of the English language. The website is a free British slang dictionary and slang expressions or terms are traceable both by letter and category. The last one is much more helpful because it enables you to both understand terms or expressions within a given context and also isolate concepts that a person will use again in different contextual situations.