Research Process

After taking Writing About Rollins with Dr. Littler, I realized for the first time in my academic career how much more there is to writing. In previous courses, grammar and addressing the main topic of discussion were the primary focuses of our work, but in this class, we broke down the writing process and opened up different avenues of understanding. Focusing on establishing the exigence, rhetor, audience, and constraints present in a rhetorical situation, I soon realized how identifying the various aspects of writing enable one to better address them, creating a more thorough and persuasive paper. Knowing the audience I am trying to reach and the manner in which I should do so, I am then able to research in a more precise manner, making the writing process more efficient and effective. These qualities cannot be underestimated in college, where articulating oneself through writing is essential to getting a degree and succeeding in the professional world. Finding sources was never too difficult of a process because of the help of Dr. Littler and the librarians gave us in navigating the Olin Library database. After research began to fall into place, the focus came back to the writing and how to best address the audience and constraints that would play a role in developing a clear argument. Overall, this course honed my writing skills by shining a light on more than just clarity and strong beliefs, showing that the structural breakdown of a written piece should be addressed and understood before a writer can persuade an audience in the most effective way possible. I plan on using the approach taught in this class with all of my written work moving forward, and I am happy to have been provided such a great opportunity to develop my skills as a writer. – Peter Finegan

This course has completely changed my views on writing. In the past, writing was not an enjoyable task for me. However, now that I see writing as a process for growth and exploration, I have a much more positive view on it. I have gained so many skills from taking this course that have actually made writing more enjoyable for me, because now I feel a lot more confident in my own writing abilities. A major takeaway for me is how to research efficiently on the Olin Library database and other online collections. Not only do I now know how to find what I am looking for, but I know how to integrate it into my writing in an effective manner. I will definitely take these new skills with me throughout the rest of my college career, and continue to grow as a writer. – Danielle Marks

Revising these papers was very interesting but challenging as well. I enjoyed it because I was able to learn about a few different aspects of Rollins and college life in general. However, it was challenging because it’s all the rhetor’s opinion. I found it a little difficult to try to correct the paper, but at the same time you have to make sure the paper doesn’t change its stance. I found it especially difficult when the rhetor was acknowledging both sides of the argument. I had to first decide which position he was taking, then correct it based on the position he supported. At the same time though, I had to make sure both sides of the argument were represented, understood, and explained well. Overall, it was something knew and I saw it as a new challenge from an editing standpoint. – Ben Johnston

Connections Through Alumni

McCarthy, Claudine, ed. “Increase Student-athlete Success by Establishing Effective Partnerships with Alumni.” College Athletics and the Law 12.1 (2015): n. pag. Web.

This article discusses some of the benefits that student-athletes have after school.  One major area that student-athletes are a step above everyone else is they have more connections.  A normal student has some alumni that they can go to and who wants to help out.  However, the connection throughout an athletic program is so much stronger.  Almost every former athlete is willing to help the present athletes if they need help finding a job, or anything else for that matter, after school.  Todd Stansbury understands this well when he says “One of the real assets of any university and athletics program is the strength of its alumni and access to the power of its network.”  This is the case mainly because a team bond is very strong, and that includes the alumni.  Many alumni feel like they are apart of their team for the rest of their life, and that is welcomed by schools.  This leads to a great advantage when a student-athlete graduates and is looking for a job.  More likely than not, he will know someone that can help out, and it’s because they played for the same school.

Research Process

Once I began to write paper 3, continuing my research became a lot easier. This is because I was able to “go with the flow,” more, so to speak, and see where my writing took me. Based off of where my writing went, I was able to find sources to support my argument much easier than before when I wasn’t completely sure of the direction of my paper. – Danielle Marks

Continuing my research on the subject of collegiate sports and their effect on student-athletes, I used Google rather than the Olin Library database to see what was available. Although scholarly sources are highly researched, the opinions of the public are very relevant in this particular case, as many of the misconceptions about student-athlete development are found on a larger, more general scale. That being said, I found the source used in my post “Testament to Collegiate Sports and Success,” online and examined the points made in the article to show the reader how the positive effects of collegiate sports benefit student-athletes in the long run. The source was relatively easy to find, and although peer-reviewed journals and data may be more hard-hitting, the overarching themes mentioned in this article properly portray the beliefs had by those well informed on the matter. – Peter Finegan

This was an interesting article to use in my paper because it talks about some negatives about sports, but it was a fantastic reason as to why student-athletes should be able to schedule classes earlier than normal students. I’ve enjoyed that part of this paper so far; since it’s my argument, I can use any argument as long as I can support my claim and my thesis in some way. I don’t think I’d be able to use this article if it weren’t for us writing paper 2. This is a perfect example of synthesis. It is taking the entire conversation and using it to support my thesis even though alone, the article would seem to oppose my claim. –Ben Johnston


Schneider, Ray G., Sally R. Ross, and Morgan Fisher. “ACADEMIC CLUSTERING AND MAJOR SELECTION OF INTERCOLLEGIATE STUDENT-ATHLETES.” College Student Journal 44.1 (2010): 64-70. ProQuest. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.

This article talks about the “easy way out” when it comes to student-athletes.  In history, and especially recently, there have been scandals at many schools over the classes that athletes take and whether teachers make it easy for them because athletics helps the schools so much.  This article specifically talks about “clustering” which is when many athletes are pushed into certain majors because they are athletic friendly.  Whether that means they are easier or the schedules line up with practices and games, it is attractive for the coaches to put their players in those majors.  However, players are supposed to major in what they find interesting and then figure out their athletic schedule.  This is related to student-athletes at Rollins picking classes early because we won’t have to worry about a situation like this occurring.  If we can strategically schedule the classes we want around our practices, we are taking full advantage of every aspect of college, and we are doing it the way it’s supposed to be done.

Testament to Collegiate Sports and Success

“3 Benefits of Playing Sports in College.” NCSA Athletic Recruiting Blog. NCSA Athletic Recruiters, 2013. Web. 12 Apr. 2016.

Although more obvious upsides such as physical health may come to mind, the benefits of playing a collegiate sport are more abundant than most people think. Supporting my claims regarding the positive effects of sports on student-athletes’ development, this NCSA report suggests that relationship development and a greater opportunity at job placement are realistic possibilities improved by dedication to a collegiate sport. A study performed by NCSA asked 100 CEOs who they would hire – a collegiate athlete or a non-athlete, with all else being equal. 100% of the responses favored student-athletes, and even 60% of those CEOs said they preferred the athlete over the non-athlete even if the latter had better test scores. These results are a true testament to the personal development that occurs when a student-athlete must keep an even keel despite adverse conditions often associated with an inherently busy academic and athletic schedule. This adaptability and drive to succeed is recognized, and employers understand that “the lessons learned through years of being an athlete translate into a quality employee” (“3 Benefits…in College”). The future for student-athletes is bright, and there is no downside to the health and social development that are as prevalent as their opportunity to be hired and succeed in the professional world.

President Cornwell’s Convocation & Matriculation Address

Cornwell, Grant H. “Making Up Your Mind: The Project of Liberal Education.” Rollins College. Warden Arena, Winter Park, FL. 20 Aug. 2015. Convocation & Matriculation Address.

In this speech, Rollins College President Grant H. Cornwell addresses the incoming freshman class and welcomes them to the college. The topic of his speech pertains to the mission of Rollins College and how it is achieved, and also the liberal arts. President Cornwell starts off with the strong message that “Rollins College educates students for global citizenship and responsible leadership, empowering graduates to pursue meaningful lives and productive careers,” and then he goes on to state that “We (Rollins) are dedicated to scholarship, academic achievement, creative accomplishment, cultural enrichment, social responsibility, and environmental stewardship. We value excellence in teaching and rigorous, transformative education in a healthy, responsive, and inclusive environment.” These few sentence are an accurate and powerful summation of what Rollins College is all about. President Cornwell then challenges students to reflect on Rollins’ mission and “examine,” how it resonates with their own personal missions. He lets you know that it’s okay not to know yet, to still be “making up your mind,” as the namesake of the speech suggests. President Cornwell overall introduces the incoming freshman class in a powerful, but also comforting way.

Research Process

Moving forward with Paper 3, I have expanded my search and begun focusing on the various aspects of student-athlete life to provide readers with a better understanding of my beliefs. Through research found in my recent source, I have noted research regarding stress, academic success, and efficiency of collegiate athletes, all areas of life that embody a student’s purpose for attending college in the first place. Actually finding this source was a little more difficult as the number of available references seems fairly limited. I may use different keywords moving forward to gather as many relevant sources as possible, helping me build my case that student athletes grow and succeed as good as, if not better, than their peers. – Peter Finegan

In my ongoing research for Paper 3, I have found a few more relevant sources that I can tie into the paper to support my argument of why one should attend Rollins College. I actually feel like I have enough sources to support my argument, but I only have two peer reviewed sources thus far. This is where I have been struggling the most for Paper 3, but knowing that I could use sources from my previous paper helped a lot. In researching to find my final peer reviewed source, I am going to broaden my outlook to try and find something I can connect to my argument. – Danielle Marks

This was an interesting process post for me because I used an article that I used for paper 2. This forced me to look at the article from a different angle and to try to have a new perspective on the article based on the change in topics. Instead of looking at it with a neutral perspective, I was able to see how it can support my argument. It reads a little bit differently when I read it with a slight bias. However, it supports my claim very well, and I think it will be very useful to support athletes picking their classes early. – Ben Johnston

Athletics Assisting Academics

Hamilton, Kendra. “Creating a successful student-athlete: discipline, focus and hard work are just a few attributes, says advising expert Dr. Ruth Darling.” Black Issues in Higher Education 8 Apr. 2004: 30+. Academic OneFile. Web. 8 Apr. 2016.

In this article, Ruth Darling talks about how athletics can help many students succeed in their academic lives.  It’s an article I also use for paper two, and I think it’s an interesting perspective on an athlete’s life in terms of juggling school and sport.  It’s all about using sports, what most student-athletes are passionate about, to motivate an athlete to succeed in the classroom.  However, the lessons she teaches her athletes are also applicable when looking at all other aspects of a student’s life.  It’s about taking full advantage of non-athletic activities because you can learn different concepts that can improve your athletic ability.  This is a great method because whenever you can relate two or more aspects while you’re learning something, it means it’s helping your overall education and life instead of just being one dimensional.  It also means the skill set is being applied to real life situations and there is critical thinking that goes along with that.  By understanding the relationship between academics and athletics, the education you attain from both is infinitely more useful.

How Small Class Sizes Benefit a College Education

Sellers, Evie. “Small College Class Size Benefits.” Small College Class Size Benefits. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Apr. 2016. <>.

In this article, the author makes the argument of smaller class sizes in college being more beneficial to students. The author, Sellers, has four points to support her argument: small class sizes give students more “opportunities to ask questions, contribute to discussions,” get to know your professors, and also to get to know your fellow classmates. Sellers devotes a paragraph to each of these points and makes her argument with facts. A small class gives students more opportunities to ask questions because you are not in a large lecture hall with hundreds of students. In fact, class discussions are promoted in small classes. Because you are not in that lecture hall with hundreds of student, the professor is able to facilitate discussions that actually help students to learn better by allowing them to use specific vocabulary in context and engage with your course material. Through these class discussions, students are able to get to know their professors better, which benefits learning and may lead to more opportunities to learn outside of the classroom by having a mentor. Finally, small class sizes allow students to connect with one another more easily which helps not only academically, but personally.

Effect of Collegiate Sports on an Athlete

Décamps, Greg, Emilie Boujut, and Camille Brisset. “French College Students’ Sports Practice and Its Relations with Stress, Coping Strategies and Academic Success.” Frontiers in Psychology 3 (2012): 104. PMC. Web. 7 Apr. 2016.

College sports have various effects on athletes, some of which are more obvious than others, including better physical health, access to a group of people sharing a similar passion, and recognition from peers and the institution because of dedication to a sport. In addition, sports have other areas of positive influence on athletes who go to school to learn and grow in an independently supportive environment. Naturally, one may think that a busy schedule, less time spent on studies, and the pressure of performing present a problem for athletes that would ultimately lead to more bad than good. Studies have shown, however, that these “problems” are actually constraints that drive athletes to work more efficiently and effectively. Past studies analyzing scheduling and athletics for college sports “reported lower scores of general stress [and] academic stress,” as well as “higher scores of self-efficacy” in comparison to those less involved athletically (Décamps, Boujut, and  Brisset). With clear signs of an increase in efficiency, a decrease in stress, and an overall positive experience for college athletes who must still focus on academics, I think a new wave of understanding arises. Playing a college sport, I have personally learned how to better manage my time and deal with stress. What interests me most are the statistics supporting this belief, and I hope that this source as well as other supporting research can move readers toward tackling misconceptions and forming a more accurate opinion about college athletes.

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