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Tess McRae
Intern Mentor
2016 - 2017
Title: The Vision: Establishing a Creative Community at Hammond High School
Research Question: What are the individual benefits of each of the three components of
Hammonds creative writing program (The Vision, Advanced Composition, and NEHS), and how
can these components be improved to work in harmony?
Hypothesis: While there are significant differences amongst the individual goals and specific
niches of The Vision, Advanced Composition, and NEHS, the three groups share the common
goal of bringing together student writers and allowing them to share their voice and passion for
creative expression. These three groups can come together at the end of the year for Open Mic
Night as well as host smaller poetry slams in order to integrate Hammonds creative writing
1. What is the general field of investigation, and what specific area within that field
will be researched and / or studied?
The general area of investigation in this project is the creative writing program at
Hammond High School in Columbia, Maryland. Specifically, the three components of this
program - The Vision, Hammonds student literary and art magazine; Advanced Composition,
Hammonds creative writing class; and Hammonds chapter of National English Honors Society
(NEHS) - will be researched both on an individual and group basis.
2. What proven need will be addressed and / or problem will be solved?
The Vision, Advanced Composition, and NEHS are all fairly new groups at Hammond. In
tandem with their creation, Hammonds creative writing program has significantly expanded and
developed over the past four years in order to provide students with more opportunities to exhibit
their written talent. Despite the fact that Hammonds creative writing program is young and
fairly underdeveloped as a whole, there is great potential for the program to become a core part
of Hammonds culture. Therefore, the main goal of this research project is to develop The Vision,
Advanced Composition, and NEHS to the point where they can operate well both on an
individual and a group level. This will be done in order to develop a strong community of
dedicated expressive students who will contribute to the success of the program and the school as
a whole.

3. What will be the topic of the synthesis paper, and what specific components will
you argue?
The topic of this paper will be the same as what is described in Question One. The
synthesis paper will most likely detail the process undertaken by Hammond staff and students
throughout the 2016-2017 school year in order to further integrate and expand The Vision,
Advanced Composition, and NEHS. In addition, the paper will also focus on the individual
benefits of these components, as well as the importance of a diverse and connected writing
community at the high school level.
4. How will knowledge or ability in the field be acquired, developed, and
demonstrated through the year, and what resources will you consult?
As the research project deals with a current aspect of the school community, a large
portion of the information gathered will come from primary sources such as interviews and
surveys. However, as high school literary magazines, creative writing classes, and chapters of
NEHS have existed in high schools around the world for several decades, a significant portion of
the research will also come from secondary sources. The primary advisor for this research is
listed below:
Mary Goff (Primary Advisor and Mentor)
Teacher Advisor, The Vision
Hammond High School
Columbia, MD
In addition, the faculty advisors for Advanced Composition (Erin Isch) and NEHS (Tracey
Lerer), both English teachers at Hammond, will be consulted as well.

Research Methodology:
5. What specific research methodology are you using? Explain in a few sentences
why you feel this model applies to your research.
This study will follow a primarily descriptive research model, with an additional
combination of both experimental and historical entities. The research will focus on Hammonds
creative writing program and its expansion over the 2016-2017 school year as a result of
initiatives included in the project, and previous experience will be utilized in order to ensure the
best possible outcome.
6. How will you collect data for your research?
Data collection will most likely occur via interviews with students and staff members at
Hammond who have been involved with The Vision, Advanced Composition, and NEHS in the
past and presen. Interviews will also be conducted with advisors and editorial staffs of successful

high school literary magazines at other schools in North America, as well as researchers in the
field. Finally, surveys may be utilized at the end of the year to assess the success of the research
project and provide substance for future advocates of Hammonds creative writing program to
build off of.
7. Identify whether your data will be Qualitative or Quantitative and explain why.
A blend of quantitative and qualitative research will be conducted; interviews will be
qualitative, and surveys will be both qualitative and quantitative. The data will be primarily
qualitative because the information that will be collected, for the most part, cannot be measured
in terms of numbers and will instead pertain to specific actions and qualities of the program that
are altered.
8. How are you conducting primary research or creating something original?
Because Hammonds creative writing program is both specific to the Hammond
community and limited to about four years of history, there is an ample amount of
experimentation and research that is possible. There are still many areas where Hammonds
creative writing program can improve, and so the research that will be conducted will benefit its
future student advocates for many years to come.

Product Objectives:
9. What will be the product(s) and / or outcome(s) of the year of study?
The primary outcome of the year of study will be Volume IV of The Vision, which will
feature student content acquired throughout the year of research. This edition of the magazine
will be put together by the entire editorial staff team of The Vision, with contributions from
members of Advanced Composition and NEHS. (Additional products and outcomes are possible
and likely, but as the project is in its early stages, these have yet to be planned and developed.)
10. Who is the specific, targeted audience of the project; why have you chosen this
The specific and targeted audience for The Visions fourth edition will be the Hammond
community - the students, staff members, and parents who are involved with the school.
However, the editorial staff of The Vision will submit the magazine to national evaluations, such
as the Program to Recognize Excellence in Student Literary Magazines (PRESLM) held by the
National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), that could allow the magazine to gain
statewide and national recognition. Other methods of presentation could be targeted towards
editorial staffs and advisors of other high school literary publications across the nation.
11. How will the product be communicated to the above selected audience?

The Visions fourth edition will be physically distributed to the Hammond community,
and it will also be available for online access. The magazine will be mailed to NCTE for
evaluation at the end of the school year. In addition, Open Mic Night will be hosted at the end of
the year; details about this event have yet to be revealed, but the event will provide a platform for
The Vision to launch its fourth edition, and students from Advanced Composition and NEHS can
also perform and participate as well.
Logistical Considerations:
12. What resources will be required for the product? What are the special
considerations of the project? Will you need permission from anyone to gather data, or
share your final product?
The production of The Visions fourth issue will require several crucial resources in order
for it to achieve (and hopefully surpass) the level of success it has gained in past years. Human
resources, such as an editorial staff and faculty advisor, will be needed to contribute to and
assemble The Vision. In addition, the grading tool Canvas is being used to collect digital
submissions via Hammonds Student Resources team. Most importantly, the programs Adobe
Photoshop and Adobe InDesign will be utilized for the magazines design and production. The
production situation this year is thus far undetermined, as it may not be possible for other
students besides the Editor-in-Chief to work on the magazine during school hours due to
limitations on the usage of Adobe programs at Hammond; however, a workaround to this
situation may be possible, and the researcher is currently investigating and contemplating
potential solutions in order to allow for a more collaborative magazine. The Vision will be sent to
the HCPSS Printshop to be printed, and it will then be distributed among the school community;
the cost for this is still undetermined.
13. In third quarter, I will complete a timeline that outlines my data collection,

product development, and audience distribution, as well as the estimated dates of

production for The Visions fourth edition and any other events held by Hammonds
creative writing program, and attach it to this Proposal.