For 22.5.19

  • Please be sure to submit your homework, done in your assigned pairs, by the evening of 21.5.19!

For our next class (and your presentation) we discussed how for your presentation we might avoid boring ourselves and everyone else to death by examining the issue in the assigned texts and how by doing so in the manner of a Literature Review you will be better prepared as well for your term paper.

By “boring ourselves to death” we mean avoiding the standard wikipedia-style description that merely tells us what we already know and can look up by ourselves: when students in such presentations start talking, I usually look up the issue in wikipedia and quite often find most of it right there, so to keep from being bored, I read ahead.

By issue we mean what we found last week when each of you looked for and found one of the “Eight Strategies for Using Sources (Yale, on our syllabus), such as “choosing sides” or “picking a fight,” and where we look for, present, and leave for discussion some “issue” over which reasonable people disagree and where, in the literature review, we find the professionals doing just that.

In class, we discussed why this was infinitely more interesting and relevant that simply listing a bunch of sources that simply prove we did our homework and set out to prove whatever it was we started with.

And in class we built an exercise upon it, closely following the advice I offered you for this week’s homework,, beginning with the discussion of “There are five parts” about halfway down the article, including, how to look up references in the footnotes, survey the consulting literatures, and then the advice on my Search page (be sure to read this page), including:

  1. Circle keywords
  2. List keywords in the margins
  3. Google those keywords and keep track of them in your notes
  4. Look for the professionals both supporting the arguments offered in your assigned article, and look for those opposed to them

You will know what a research question is when you find serious debate over an issue — something over which reasonable people disagree. You are looking not simply to explain to your audience what is known, but to explain to them what is unknown, where there are problems firms want very much to know more about so they might innovate, gain market share, and increase profitability: follow the money!