For 13.2.18

Please work on these three elements and report your findings on the “Research Methods Worksheet, 13.2.18” now on our Dropbox by next Monday. I will read and offer comments on your papers beginning Sunday and in the order I receive them: “first come, first served”.

Talk/Write your term paper

We discussed how the translation of things we write up into every day language is an important step for revision, because when we explain things to a peer we check our understanding, clarify our thought, and help make things memorable

  • When discussing our special project to a non-specialist, we are forced to clarify, to make ourselves understood, and in the process we find different and usually better ways to explain things
  • This is understandable: we start off with a bunch of ideas and in a process of discovery, but while they make sense in a discovery process, the point is to communicate our ideas, and for that we need a listener
  • The listener plays a very active role, because he must be considered, her responses won, and so we adapt to our predicament with new, better, and often more concise formulations
  • When we are successful, we have a wonderful opportunity to write down the new, successful formulation: this will give us something we can use with confidence

Discuss your term paper with 2-3 classmates as you are writing it and where you use the “Steps for Better Thinking” as a guide

  • As a listener, keep Steps in front of you and use one or another “prompt” to help bring out the best in your partner
  • You want at the very least to move one step higher up, beginning with “explain why people disagree…”

Working with sources

We discussed how the only way you can explore your paper’s conceptual part is by anticipating the relevant professionals who know this material well and are discussing the relevant issues.

  • You cannot do this alone, for the simple reason that you are preparing to engage these professionals in the university or workplace
  • They, not you, get to define what is important and how it is going to be talked about, so you need to find them and study what they are talking about and how: what claims, arguments, evidence, and ways of thinking make sense to them.
  • You talk about them by reporting what they have to say, using report structures — they “claim,” “argue,” “show,” etc. — and you certainly don’t tell us “what is,” only what they say
  • You organize your conversation about them in one of eight ways, as you find on the “Eight Ways for Using Sources” handout, including “drawing battle lines,” “picking a fight,” etc.

Your current research question

Copy and paste your current research question from last week, revise it based on what you’ve learned, and in “Reflections” discuss how your research question has changed