1) Where we’re going
2) What matters as we move forward
3) Let’s storm some brains!
4) Let’s talk to people about it
The rest of class…
I know we’re not even to midterm, but after the
instruction assignment, everything until your final
submission will be focused on a specific line of
We will be looking at an issue or topic in your field of
study. I want this to be something that matters to
you, but there are a bunch of caveats. I’ll talk to you
about those in a second. I don’t want them to
initially limit your thinking.
There will be three interlocking assignments.
1) The first piece is a “demographic case study,”
which is me using buzzwords to say “profile of who
you’re writing for”
2) The second piece is a researched report
3) The third piece is a research supported proposal
What is key, now, then…
…is finding the best possible topic to research and attempt to
craft a proposal about.
Some things to remember:
1.This is a technical report– facts only– followed by a
proposal– a suggested plan of action– based on the facts you
2.No opinions! This is about facts
3.This will be intimately audience specific
On the next several slides, I’m going to give you
brainstorming prompts. What I want you to do, as you read
them, is create lists– either lists of short phrases or
sentences, each on their own line.
This is free-writing, which means you should write as much
as you can for each prompt, without worrying about spelling
or grammar errors. Keep going!
Prompt 1: What are key
issues in your field of study?
Prompt 2: What are key
issues you imagine you’d
face working in your field?
Prompt 3: What are
questions people might
bring to someone with your
skills looking for an answer?
Prompt 4: What are issues
or topics in your field of
that are particularly
interesting to you?
Look at your lists
Some things to use to “screen”:
1)Remove anything that is highly emotionally
charged/opinion-based. Those will only bring you problems.
2)Think about reports of 4-7 pages. What can you cover
entirely in that space? Remove things that are too “big.”
3)How many of your ideas are things you CAN research
without major issues?
Now look at what’s left…
From what is left on your lists– all of them– pick the 4 things
you are most interested in writing about.
Copy them down to start a new list. Number them in the
order you think is their order of importance.
Each of the next prompts is tied to your four chosen
potential topics. For each slide, answer the prompt
given for that numbered topic (e.g. slide 1 is for the
first thing on your list, slide 2 for the second, etc.).
Write in paragraph form this time. Write as much as
you can before I prompt you to switch.
Prompt 1: Write down
everything you know about
this topic already, without
doing any research.
Prompt 2: If you were to
choose this topic for your
research project, what would
your proposal be? What
would you be solving?
Prompt 3: Who would the
audience be for this research
and proposal? What would
their expectations be?
Prompt 4: How would you
start this project? Where
would you go first? What
would you be after?
Look at what you have in your four paragraph chunks.
If what you wrote makes you think the topic is a potential
keeper, put a + next to it.
If you struggled to answer/feel the topic is no longer a good
idea, place a – next to it.
Compile your potential topics
Make a new list of your potential topics. Just the ones
that got + on the last stage.
Place each on a sheet of paper, along with your name
so we know where the paper goes.
This is going to literally be a brain-storm; a topic tornado.
Assuming you have two sheets of paper, pass one in each
direction. If you have more– pass them, too, alternating
When you receive the sheet, read the topic at the top and
write a question about it (as quickly as you can). Make sure
it’s a rigorous, thoughtful question. Then pass it on. Keep
going, writing questions as fast as possible and passing.
We’re almost out of time…
Make sure you get your respective papers back, so you
have your questions to look at/think through.
For Tuesday: read: Anderson, Chapter 3
watch this and this.
And bring these brainstorming sheets back!
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.