For 20.11.17

These homework assignments are designed to help you move 1cm forward in one or more of the many different elements involves in writing the BA thesis, so your mission is to do a little of each as a stepping stone towards the next — something we can share, discuss, and build on

  • Best is when you do a little of each of the following and in ways that you learn from (not simply to impress me)
  • Include in your homework relevant bits and pieces, not necessarily whole long outlines or drafts: make this a record of advances in your thought (and not simply pleasing the teacher)

Research Questions

At the top of your homework so I can find it easily, restate your research question and with emphasis on the third, conceptual part

  • To do this, you will likely want to spend a few minutes reviewing Chapters 3 and 4 (especially 4.2.1 and 4.2.2) of The Craft of Research, and you do well to outline briefly those parts of these chapters that you learned something from with one or two sentences explaining how you applied what you learned

Literature Review

Briefly outline one or more of the completely interesting articles you have found surveying your topic and where you are surveying topics for concepts and methods that professionals are discussing on the way to developing your research question

  • If you have not done so already, install Mendeley and include properly formatted citations in your outline (Heading 6)

Outlining

If you are not yet a master of outlining, follow my Outlining advice to learn a few more things along the way so that your outlines are clearly hierarchical (tree structures) and with sub-heads featuring strong high-level generalizations, your discussions are in Heading 4, and you have buried details in lower levels (quotes in Heading 5 and citations in Heading 6)

  • Add a page number name, like this: “FirstName, 20.11.17 – Page#”
  • Include only the homework for this week, save the rest in one large portfolio file to be submitted on the last day

Active Verbs Supporting Higher-Level Thinking

Use one or more of the higher-level active verbs (especially “compare and contrast” as you will find on the “Revised Blooms Taxonomy Action Verbs” file on our Dropbox

Talk/Write

Before you write all of this up, be sure to discuss your findings on any one of these elements with a classmate and write up what you discussed as a protocol of your discussion

  • Explaining things to a friend is good, but sometimes it is better to explain things to someone else as then you can take nothing for granted: look for an audience that will “pull” the ideas out of you and lead you to see things in different ways
  • The concept here is that we are preparing for business, not for a career as poets or even writers: anything that you do here will likely be of value only insofar as you can explain and discuss things with others, and when you discuss things with others you almost always discuss things differently and learn from the experience

On Homework and Writing

One of the biggest mistakes in our educational system is the belief that the best way to teach writing is remedial grammar in the first semesters and thesis tutoring at the last. The other mistake is to concentrate on writing full sentences in formal ways rather than writing on many different things and in pieces along the way. This explains why many of you find weekly writing difficult, and for that you have my 100% sympathy!

  • Professors in many other schools have convinced themselves that writing is central to thinking in the disciplines and that this takes regular exercise at every semester.
  • What you are learning through these exercises is that there are many little pieces to the puzzle and that the best way to master them is to work a little bit on each on a regular basis to develop your understanding and skills.