These are Anderson’s key questions to ask yourself:
1) Why is your research important to us?
2) What were you trying to find out?
3) Was your research method sound?
4) What results did your research produce?
5) What is the significance of those results?
6) What do you think we should do?
… this is a second important superstructure. In fact
this is not precisely the sort of report that you did, as
we wrote our reports to build to the proposal.
The report that Anderson suggests is a bit different,
but working from it, we can bully down your current
reports to figure out what is needed and what will be
useful for the proposal.
How to “shake down” your
report to find the skeleton of
your Proposal deep down
Step one: look at your report.
Hi, there, report. How you been?
Based on your audience:
Why is the research important? If you
told us in the report– keep that. If you
didn’t, that’s one thing you need to
What did you want to find out?
What you found out = big part of
Was your research method
sound? In other words, don’t
take forever doing it, but tell
us HOW you found this stuff
What did you find out?
This is your support. Your ethos. This
is why you get to give us advice. You
now know something we don’t, or
have arranged things we know in a
way we didn’t think to. SHOW IT OFF.
What’s significant here?
Think about that day we talked
about what makes something
significant vs. coincidence or
Example of data. Imagine there’s a survey of
100 Miami students about the Redhawks
mascot vs. the Redskins mascot.
Data on next slide:
55 people prefer the new mascot for reasons of equity
and morality, but they feel it is poorly designed.
12 People like the old logo design but find the old
1 person loves the old mascot and tells you emphatically
that every “Indian” he’s ever met loves it, too.
2 people think we should just use the Block M and call
ourselves “Miami.” One said it and the other
emphatically agreed, adding “that’d be rad as hell.”
The green points are useful and meaningful; they
represent views that at least a tenth of your sample
held. The red ones are not statistically relevant, and
the anecdotes included (the one person’s faulty
logic and the one participant just agreeing with
another who broke the research protocol) are red
Okay, so what are you going
to recommend to us?
And after you know that, you paradoxically
go back to this good ol’ superstructure from
the last PPT:
So you then can determine the problem–
it’s the reason you want action.
And you have objectives– the action you
want to see.
So now you just need to pull this all together with a set
of resources that lead the reader TO the action you
desire, and just like that your data in report form
became the best proposal ever.
So there’s this joke…
…by a guy named Mike Birbiglia. He talks about being
a kid, and being afraid to dive into deep water, but
another kid from his neighborhood compelling him,
in spite of his fears and trepidations, by offering him
the most simple, but undeniable instruction ever.
Armed with today’s knowledge, I offer you that same
..seriously. Do it. Use these tools—the
superstructure, the questions, the other
superstructure– to extract the useful material from
your report and to build the outline for the
Ask your classmates or me if you need some help.
For next class…
For Tuesday: bring as much of a rough draft of the
proposal as you have done.
We will workshop the proposals twice– with one half
of each day next week.
Also, your reports are due in PDF format today. Don’t