WED FEB 07
A Note about the Process.
- The purpose of assigning a Hypothesis very early in the semester was not to put you behind or thwart your progress, it was to get the ball rolling.
- You identified a topic. It wasn’t well-defined or as sharp as it would need to be to support an academic argument, but it was SOMETHING meaningful that prompted you to begin to explore source material.
- From here, the process is cumulative and flexible. Instead of wasting your time “brainstorming” about your vague notion, you start to read in your area of interest.
- AS YOU GATHER AND INVESTIGATE SOURCES, your vague notion begins to crystallize. You start to have ideas, find angles, develop theories, encounter surprising details you can’t wait to share!
- You gather the best of those sources into your White Paper and cluster them around WHATEVER HAPPENS TO BE YOUR BEST WORKING HYPOTHESIS.
- As the semester continues, you do more research, abandon early ideas, refine your thinking, place new sources into conversation with old sources, and DEVELOP A THESIS YOU CAN PROVE.
- AT NO POINT IN THE PROCESS is there a place where you can get stuck thinking, “I have to solve this problem before I can continue.” Moving forward is the solution.
- You write early drafts of short arguments along the way. First a Definition/Categorical argument. Then a Causal Argument. Finally, a Rebuttal argument, all based on your developing thesis.
- Each of these arguments can be revised as many times as you wish, always for grade improvement.
- Eventually, the entire project coalesces into a single 3000-word, well-researched, carefully argued Research Position Paper that proves a single thesis.