GE372 Week Seven Welcome to the first evening of the rest of your life.
Analyzing Your Sources and Documenting What You Know Today’s lecture will help you get started on your course project, which is due at the end of the quarter. Minimum seven pages. That’s not too bad.
Writing papers is a skill Many papers are badly written Good writing is a skill you can learn It’s a skill that is worth learning: You will get more brownie points (more papers accepted etc) Your ideas will have more impact You will have better ideas Increasing importance
Do not be intimidated Fallacy You need to have a fantastic idea before you can write a paper. (Everyone else seems to.) Write a paper, and give a talk, about any idea, no matter how weedy and insignificant it may seem to you
Do not be intimidated Write a paper, and give a talk, about any idea, no matter how insignificant it may seem to you
Writing the paper is how you develop the idea in the first place
It usually turns out to be more interesting and challenging that it seemed at first
Why bother? Good papers and talks are a fundamental part of research excellence Fallacy we write papers and give talks mainly to impress others, gain recognition, and get promoted
Papers communicate ideas Your goal: to infect the mind of your reader with your idea, like a virus The greatest ideas are (literally) worthless if you keep them to yourself
The Idea Idea A re-usable insight, useful to the reader Thesis = topic + stance (position). If you write anything down today, it should be this. Figure out what your idea is Make certain that the reader is in no doubt what the idea is. Be 100% explicit: “The main idea of this paper is....” “In this section we present the main contributions of the paper.” Many papers contain good ideas, but do not distil what they are.
One ping In general… Your paper should have just one “ping”: one clear, sharp idea Read your paper again: can you hear the “ping”? You may not know exactly what the ping is when you start writing; but you must know when you finish If you have lots of ideas, write lots of papers Thanks to Joe Touch for “one ping”
Your narrative flow Here is a problem It’s an interesting problem It’s an unsolved problem Here is my idea My idea works (details, data) Here’s how my idea compares to other people’s approaches Talk about shape I wish I knew how to solve that! I see how that works. Ingenious!
Researching Arguments Researching Arguments Q: Why are disciplined research skills important? A: 1) To demonstrate credibility:(experts agree with you) 2) To incorporate factuality: (positions based on fact) 3) To maintain objectivity: (multiple viewpoints considered) 4) To support verifiability: (researched evidence is documented)
Researching Arguments Types of Sources Primary: Firsthand accounts of events, beliefs, and opinions. Letters, diaries, court transcripts, manuscripts, interviews, etc. Pros: Unique, valuable information that is difficult to obtain from secondary sources. “Straight from the horse’s mouth!” Cons: Harder to locate than secondary sources; harder to verify personal accounts.
Researching Arguments Types of Sources Secondary: All printed and electronic sources that are publicly available and that don’t qualify as a primary source. Books, magazines, periodicals, essays, reports, etc. Pros: Easier to acquire than primary sources; sources are verifiable. Cons: Multiple sources often redundant – nothing “new” or “original” is offered.
Researching Arguments Types of Sources Conducting an interview (primary source) Be serious about preparation beforehand. Conduct preliminary background research and prepare questions before the interview. Ask open-ended, non-leading questions (no yes/no responses permitted). Rank and sequence questions in order of priority and importance. http://willowsprings.ewu.edu/interviews/childress.php http://www.allculinaryschools.com/faqs/catering.php
Researching Arguments Searching for secondary sources Narrow and choose a suitable, researchable topic. If there’s no credible sources, choose something else! Get a broad overview on the topic. Find basic background information and identify specific sub-topics you will need more specific information on later. New and interesting subtopics might become available to you as you perform research. Based on Step 2, begin to compile an annotated bibliography of potential sources.
Researching Arguments Evaluating secondary sources Printed sources 1) Who is the author? (Education, expertise, credibility, biases, etc.) 2) When was it published? (How up-to-date and accurate is the information?) 3) Where was it published (Who was the original intended audience? How simple or complex is the information?) Why is context and intended audience information needed? Mark Childress example 4) What is the title? (What tone does the title imply?)
Researching Arguments Evaluating secondary sources Electronic Sources Domain name: (.gov, .edu, .org, .com, .net) Author or agency: If no one takes credit for the information, it lowers its credibility Date of creation and frequency of updates: Quality information is well maintained and updated. Poor information generally is not. Site design: If it looks like crap, and smells like crap, it’s probably CRAP! Links to/from the site: Judge a site by the company it keeps with others on the WWW. Be wary of blogs, political news shows, and Wikipedia. Not the most reliable places on the Web.
Researching Arguments Taking Notes Use a consistent, organized system. (Index cards, notebook, folder, thumb drive, etc.) Write down all necessary bibliographic information. (Name, title, publication and/or publisher, volume/issue, pages, etc.) Indicate what type of note you are writing (Summary, paraphrase, or quotation.)
Researching Arguments Types of notes Summary – Brief, condensed version of a source. Contains only main ideas – no details or specifics. Written in your own words. Paraphrase – Detailed rephrasing of a source. Goes into the same level of details and specifics as original source. Written in your own words. Quotation – Word for word duplication.
Researching Arguments Taking Notes (Continued) 4) Read the source carefully TWICE without writing anything. 5) Put the source aside and recall the information you just read. 6) Write down your recollection without looking at the source. 7) Compare your note with the original source – check for plagiarism.
Researching Arguments Final Thoughts You need not use every piece of information you research. Be picky and selective about using sources. Choose the highest-quality sources first! Don’t just “paste” researched information into your writing. Use clear transitions to show the relationships between facts and ideas in your arguments. BE VERY SERIOUS ABOUT PLAGIARISM AND ACADEMIC THEFT!!!
Ancillary Graphics: Tables, Charts, and Graphs Art, advertisements, editorial cartoons, and news photos all present interesting visual ways to persuade, and knowing how they do this improves your critical thinking and analytical skills. Ancillary graphics, however, such as tables, charts, and graphs, are some visual tools you can use in your own persuasive essays. A simple table, chart, or graph can convey information at a glance while conveying trends that support your argument. Visual aids are usually preferable to long, complicated paragraphs that confuse the reader and may detract from your argument. Ancillary graphics can assume the form of tables, charts, graphs, and illustrations.
Numerical Tables There are many ways of representing statistical data. The simplest presentation of numerical data is the table. Tables are useful in demonstrating relationships among data. They present numerical information in tabular fashion arranged in rows or columns so that data elements may be referenced and compared. Presenting information in a table will allow you to demonstrate your point while saving space for your discussion.
Line Graphs Line graphs show the relationship between two or more sets of numerical data by plotting points in relations to two axes. The vertical axis is usually used to represent amounts, and the horizontal axis normally represents increments of time, although this ns not always the case. Line graphs are probably easier for most people to read than tables, and they are especially useful when depicting trends or changes over time.
Bar Graphs and Pie Charts
Bar Graphs and Pie Charts
Pie Charts and Bar Graphs Bar graphs and pie charts often are used to compare parts and enable readers to grasp complex data and the relationship among variables at a glance. A bar graph uses horizontal or vertical bars and is commonly used to show either quantities of the same item at different times, quantities of different items at the same time, or quantities of the different parts of an item that make up the whole. They are usually differentiated by contrasting colors, shades, or textures.
Pie Charts and Bar Graphs Pie charts present data as wedge-shaped sections of a circle or “pie.” The total amount of all the pieces of the pie must equal 100 percent. They are an efficient way of demonstrating the relative proportion of the whole something occupies—an instant way to visualize “percentages” without thinking in numbers.
Tips for Using Ancillary Graphics Include only the date you need to demonstrate your point Make a reference to the cart or graphic in the body of your text Try to keep the graphic on the same page as your discussion Present only one type of information in each graph or chart Label everything in your graph and provide legends where appropriate Assign a figure number to each graphic for easy reference Remember to document the sources used to create the graphics Don’t crowd your text too closely around the graphic
In-class assignment and Homework for next time COURSE PROJECTProject, Part 1:Select a Complex Problem (5% of final project grade) IN-CLASS: Work with your team to select a complex problem or issue for the course project. During the times set aside for you to discuss, share ideas of complex problems with your team members. Every team member should submit at least one complex problem. The complex problem can be geopolitical, social, or even moral/personal (so long as it meets the criteria of “complex” from your textbook). You should ultimately be able to propose solutions to this complex problem. This complex problem on which your team settles will be all of yours for the term of the project, and now you will work individually on the problem. Later, you will be able to share research and resources in completing the project. By sharing a problem, you will be able to share and brainstorm with others and benefit from others’ ideas and work. DO AT HOME INDIVIDUALLY: Individually, develop four to six expressionsof that problem or issue. Use the definition ofan “expression of a problem or issue” from your textbook. Each member of the team will be responsible for all of the following steps: For your project assignment this week, write down the problem or issue that you and your team have selected, and then list your four to six expressions of that problem or issue. Then, write a few paragraphs explaining how you plan to (a) find resources and (b) evaluate your resources for credibility. Finally, start your preliminary research. Find at least five resources in the ITT Tech Virtual Library or Learning Center that will support your project. Deliverables Submit to your Instructor (a) your complex problem, (b) your own four to six expressions of this problem, (c) your short paragraphs outlining how you plan to find resources and evaluate your resources for credibility, and (d) at least five resources you plan to use.