Senior Project 2011             Awesome
TopicIssue Question
How to narrow your topic
Narrowing your topicDevelop a Central Question
Question Brainstorm!
What are the parts of your topic, and how do they relate to one another?                Topic
What are the parts of your topic, and    how do they relate to one another?  Food                             People      ...
Topic: Vegans              Are there different kinds of vegans?              How much variety is in the vegan diet?       ...
Now, your turn...        What are the parts of your topic, and         how do they relate to one another?                 ...
How is your topic part of a larger system?                                    Topic
How is your topic part of a larger system?                                    Vegan                  Health              A...
Topic: VegansWhat contributes to people living longer: better health or better                             medicine?      ...
Now, your turn...        How is your topic part of a larger system?                                            TopicWrite ...
CategoriesHow can your topic be grouped into kinds?
Topic: Vegans Vegans by choiceVegans by necessityChild-Teen vegans  Vegan athletes   Indian vegans Celebrity vegans  Polit...
How does your topic compare to and contrast with others                       like it?
Topic: Vegans      Are vegan diets more popular than vegan lifestyles?     How do Indian vegans compare to vegans in the U...
Now, your turn...       How can your topic be grouped into kinds?                        Topic                Type 1:_____...
How and why has your topic changed through time, as         something with its own history?Topic before       Topic before...
Topic: Vegans   How has the number of vegans changed over time?       Is veganism a trend that will disappear soon?  Have ...
Now, your turn...  How and why has your topic changed through time, as           something with its own history?  Topic be...
How and why is your topic an episode in a larger history?                      Feminism or                      Pop Music ...
Topic: Vegans         How has our food supply changed over time? Has the change in food production affected our diet choic...
Now, your turn... How and why is your topic an episode in a larger history?   1920        1940        1960       1980     ...
How good or bad is your topic? Is it useful?Bad                                        Good
How good or bad is your topic? Is it useful?Bad                                        Good
Topic: Vegans                Is a vegan diet safe for kids?          Are vegans more ethical than carnivores?        Do ve...
Now, your turn...Evaluate your topic: What do you like and not like about it?   Bad                                       ...
Ask What if? and other speculative questions
Topic: Vegans              What if McDonalds only sold vegan food?             What if every school had a working farm?If ...
Now, your turn...Write 10 What if? and other speculative questionsabout your topic
Evaluate Your Questions
A question is good if:     You don’t already know the answer     There are multiple legitimate answers      The answer fee...
Most Interesting Questions              Are humans meant to be carnivores?       Are vegan diets more popular than vegan l...
Most Interesting Questions              Are humans meant to be carnivores?       Are vegan diets more popular than vegan l...
Key Words Will Help Your Research!              Are humans meant to be carnivores?       Are vegan diets more popular than...
Key Words Will Help Your Research!                           Broad!              Are humans meant to be carnivores?       ...
Your group task:       Select THE question that feels most       important to answer       Use the They Say, I Say sentenc...
Although X may seem trivial, it is in fact crucial interms of today’s concern over______Ultimately, what is at stake here ...
Narrowing your topic  Read! Read! Read!
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Senior project narrow topic

  1. 1. Senior Project 2011 Awesome
  2. 2. TopicIssue Question
  3. 3. How to narrow your topic
  4. 4. Narrowing your topicDevelop a Central Question
  5. 5. Question Brainstorm!
  6. 6. What are the parts of your topic, and how do they relate to one another? Topic
  7. 7. What are the parts of your topic, and how do they relate to one another? Food People VeganPolitics Health
  8. 8. Topic: Vegans Are there different kinds of vegans? How much variety is in the vegan diet? What clothing restrictions do vegans have?Are animal products used in other things besides food and clothing? How political is the vegan movement? Does a vegan diet help or hurt your overall health? Do vegans own pets? Are vegans happier? healthier?
  9. 9. Now, your turn... What are the parts of your topic, and how do they relate to one another? Topic Write 10 questions on the sub parts of your topic
  10. 10. How is your topic part of a larger system? Topic
  11. 11. How is your topic part of a larger system? Vegan Health Animal Rights Food Production Vegetarianism
  12. 12. Topic: VegansWhat contributes to people living longer: better health or better medicine? Are humans meant to be carnivores? Do animals have personalities? Do animals have a soul? What influences our food choices?Is our food production helping or hurting the world’s population? Is it better to be vegetarian or vegan? Are cows treated better in India than in the U.S.?
  13. 13. Now, your turn... How is your topic part of a larger system? TopicWrite 10 questions on the larger systems your topic is apart of.
  14. 14. CategoriesHow can your topic be grouped into kinds?
  15. 15. Topic: Vegans Vegans by choiceVegans by necessityChild-Teen vegans Vegan athletes Indian vegans Celebrity vegans Political vegans Vegan ranchers Vegan chefs
  16. 16. How does your topic compare to and contrast with others like it?
  17. 17. Topic: Vegans Are vegan diets more popular than vegan lifestyles? How do Indian vegans compare to vegans in the U.S.?How are the reasons people choose veganism similar or different? Are all animal rights activists vegan? Do teen vegans do better in school? Are child vegans healthier than non-vegan children? How do vegan athletes compare with non-vegan athletes?Are you considered vegan if your food allergies force you to eat a vegan diet?
  18. 18. Now, your turn... How can your topic be grouped into kinds? Topic Type 1:____________ Type 2:____________ Type 3:____________ Type 4:____________ Type 5:____________ Type 6:____________Write 10 questions comparing and contrasting thesedifferent types
  19. 19. How and why has your topic changed through time, as something with its own history?Topic before Topic before Topic now1983 1988 1990 1994 1998
  20. 20. Topic: Vegans How has the number of vegans changed over time? Is veganism a trend that will disappear soon? Have vegans become more or less political over time?Have the reasons people choose to become vegan changed? What historical figures made people aware of veganism?Were vegans always linked to the animal rights movement?
  21. 21. Now, your turn... How and why has your topic changed through time, as something with its own history? Topic before Topic before Topic nowWrite 10 questions on how your topic has changed overtime
  22. 22. How and why is your topic an episode in a larger history? Feminism or Pop Music or Fashion 1920 1940 1960 1980 2008
  23. 23. Topic: Vegans How has our food supply changed over time? Has the change in food production affected our diet choices?Has the rise of factory farming turned more people into vegans? Have we become kinder or crueler to animals over time? How have restaurants or cafeterias changed as a result of the vegan movement?
  24. 24. Now, your turn... How and why is your topic an episode in a larger history? 1920 1940 1960 1980 2008 TopicWrite 10 questions on the larger history your topic isconnected to
  25. 25. How good or bad is your topic? Is it useful?Bad Good
  26. 26. How good or bad is your topic? Is it useful?Bad Good
  27. 27. Topic: Vegans Is a vegan diet safe for kids? Are vegans more ethical than carnivores? Do vegans deny their own animal instincts? If animals kill and eat each other, why shouldn’t we? Is there a way to eat an animal and feel good about it? Are vegans forcing their lifestyle on others?Is it possible to live without consuming animal products? Don’t we need to control the animal population?
  28. 28. Now, your turn...Evaluate your topic: What do you like and not like about it? Bad Good Don’t like about topic Like about topicWrite 10 questions evaluating the pros and cons of yourtopic
  29. 29. Ask What if? and other speculative questions
  30. 30. Topic: Vegans What if McDonalds only sold vegan food? What if every school had a working farm?If everyone had to slaughter their own animals, would more people be vegan? Would cows overpopulate the earth if everyone were vegan? Would animals eat us if we didn’t eat them? What if fruits and vegetables were subsidized by the government?
  31. 31. Now, your turn...Write 10 What if? and other speculative questionsabout your topic
  32. 32. Evaluate Your Questions
  33. 33. A question is good if: You don’t already know the answer There are multiple legitimate answers The answer feels relevant and important
  34. 34. Most Interesting Questions Are humans meant to be carnivores? Are vegan diets more popular than vegan lifestyles?Is our food production helping or hurting the world’s population? Does a vegan diet help or hurt your overall health? Are child vegans healthier than non-vegan children? Have vegans become more or less political over time?Has the rise of factory farming turned more people into vegans? Do vegans deny their own animal instincts? Don’t we need to control the animal population? What if every school had a working farm?
  35. 35. Most Interesting Questions Are humans meant to be carnivores? Are vegan diets more popular than vegan lifestyles?Is our food production helping or hurting the world’s population? Does a vegan diet help or hurt your overall health? Are child vegans healthier than non-vegan children? Have vegans become more or less political over time?Has the rise of factory farming turned more people into vegans? Do vegans deny their own animal instincts? Don’t we need to control the animal population? What if every school had a working farm?
  36. 36. Key Words Will Help Your Research! Are humans meant to be carnivores? Are vegan diets more popular than vegan lifestyles?Is our food production helping or hurting the world’s population? Does a vegan diet help or hurt your overall health? Are child vegans healthier than non-vegan children? Have vegans become more or less political over time?Has the rise of factory farming turned more people into vegans? Do vegans deny their own animal instincts? Don’t we need to control the animal population? What if every school had a working farm?
  37. 37. Key Words Will Help Your Research! Broad! Are humans meant to be carnivores? Are vegan diets more lots of hits than vegan lifestyles? popularIs our food production helping or hurting the world’s population? Does a vegan diet help or hurt your overall health? Narrow! Are child vegans healthier than non-vegan children? Fewer hits Have vegans become more or less political over time?Has the rise of factory farming turned more people into vegans? Do vegans deny their own animal instincts? Don’t we need to control the animal population? What if every school had a working farm?
  38. 38. Your group task: Select THE question that feels most important to answer Use the They Say, I Say sentence stems to explain why the answer is important to know
  39. 39. Although X may seem trivial, it is in fact crucial interms of today’s concern over______Ultimately, what is at stake here is_____These findings have important implications for thebroader domain of______If we are right about_____, then majorconsequences follow for______These conclusions/This discovery will have significantapplications in _____ as well as in _____Although X may seem of concern to only a small group of____, it should in fact concern anyone who cares about ____
  40. 40. Narrowing your topic Read! Read! Read!
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