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The Curious Researcher Project

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Alex Carrier

on 5 March 2013

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Transcript of The Curious Researcher Project

Organizing the Draft Structure is IMPORTANT! Previously, you might have learned the "Five Paragraph Theme," consisting of: Thesis, 3 topic sentences, and 3 supporting details. Although this hierarchal structure is useful, it is not always the best way. The BEST approach is to be more flexible and responsive
when writing, and to formulate a thesis through the writing process, rather than before. For example, two good methods are:

Delayed thesis structure: Exploratory
Question claim structure: Argumentative Delayed Thesis Structure Utilizing your research to contemplate the research question, this structure instigates the thesis, rather than vise versa. While exploratory research essays embody many forms, one version is called a "narrative of thought." The plot flows something like, "this is the problem, and this is the question it raises. This is what so and so has said about it, and this is what I ponder about it, finally ending with, "this is what I understand now that I did not before." Another version constitutes 5 parts: Step 1: Introduce the research question and motive of exploration
. Dramatize the problem by storytelling
. Describe your own experience with it
. What did you read, observe, or experience that made you curious about it? The Curious Researcher:
Chapter 4 Steps Continued... Step 2: Establish the significance of the question and why the readers should care
. How many other people were affected?
. What difference will it make in peoples' lives?
. Why is this particular question significant? Step 3: Describe and analyze what has been written by others, and how this advances your understanding
. Who has significantly contributed to the conversation about this?
. What have they said and how does it relate to your research question?
. What important questions do these other voices raise? Step 4: Explain the most persuasive answer to your research question
. What voices are most convincing? Why?
. What might you add to the conversation?
. What do you want to say?

Step 5: Describe your consequential understanding of the topic that you did not previously appreciate and what is left to explore
. How will your discoveries effect your life and your readers' lives?
. What do you remain curious about?
. What questions remain and where might further inquiry take you if you continued? Question Claim Structure Attacking questions upfront, this structure uses research to prove something. Step 1: Introduce the research question
. Provide factual information
. Dramatize with an anecdote
. Establish the significance of the problem by citing experts and other observers
. Explain the purpose: To change the audience attitudes? To inspire particular action?
To merely inform? Step 2: Review the literature. What have other already said about the question?
. Cite published studies, interviews, commentaries, experiments, etc. that are relevant
. What ideas or voices are most important? In the debate, are there identifiable camps or certain patterns of arguement?
. Address popular assumptions. What do most people believe true? Step 3: What will be your argument or thesis in the paper?
. How does your understanding of the ongoing conversation shepherd your belief?
. What is your position?
. What will you try to prove? Steps Continued... Step 4: What are the reasons for your belief and what is the compelling evidence for each?
. What kinds of evidence will your readers find most convincing?
. Is your evidence varied?
. How do your reasons connect with those who disagree? Step 5: What is the significance of your claim? What is at stake with your audience? What might be other avenues of research?
. What should we do? What will happen if we don't act?
. How does your claim resolve some part of the problem? What part remains
unresolved?
. What questions remain? Writing with Sources "Documentation" distinguishes research papers from other kinds Initially, information is drawn from 4 sources: reading, interviews, observation and experience as well as 4 note-taking strategies: quotation, paraphrase, summary, and the writer's individual analysis. Blending these methods allows the writer to use information instead of being used by it. By choosing your own writing voice and clarifying your purpose in the paper, you gain control and feel less constrained by the technical demands of documentation. You want to avoid long and "hanging quotes," but employ quotes selectively, from a particularly striking part of the original source, blending into your own prose. At times, including long and "blocked" quotes may be useful, if it is relevant and blended well. What is the best approach for organizing a draft? a. Question Claim Structure

b. Five Paragraph Theme

c. Delayed Thesis Structure Quick Tips for Controlling Quotations Quotations from your sources can be overused especially when they are dumped into the draft without examination or as a substitute for paraphrase The following are four ways to correctly incorporate quotes into our writings Grafting quotes: is to insert the quotes material onto your own prose. You do this by just using a word or phrase from the quote.

Example: Some words for hangover, like ours, refer prosaically to the cause: the Egyptians say they are “still drunk,” the Japanese “two days drunk,” the Chinese “drunk overnight.” Billboarding Quotes: is to add emphasis to billboard parts of a particular quotes. You do this by italicizing the phrase or sentence.

Example: For the sake of Millennials-and, through them, the future of America- the most urgent adult task is to elevate their expectations. (Emphasis added) Controlling Quotations Continued Sandwiching Quotes: is to surround the quotation, especially one that is a full sentence or more, by your comments about it. You can do this by asking yourself the following questions:

*To introduce the quotation:
-Who said it and why is he or she relevant?
-When did this person say it and in what context?
-How does the quote relate to the current discussion in your essay?

*To followup the quotation:
-What do you think is important about what was just said?
-How does it addres an important idea or question?
-What does the person quotes fail to say or fail to see?

Example: In fact, even back when leeches were held in contempt by the medical profession, Sawyer had a solid rationale for choosing them as his subject. Biology, as taught in the United States had left him frustrated: “For sex determination, we’d study Drosophilia, for physiology we’s study frogs, for genetics, bacteria. I thought there was more to be learned from studying one organism in detail than from parts of many.” His American professors disdained this approach as a throw-back to nineteenth century biology. Controlling Quotations Continued Splicing Quotes: is to use ellipsis points (...) in order to signal that some information has been omitted. This is done if you wish to take away unnecessary information from a quotation to place emphasis on that part that matters most to you.

Example: During the Gen-X child era, the American family endured countless new movements and trends—feminism, sexual freedom, a divorce epidemic…, [and a] prominent academic in 1969 proclaimed in the Washington Post that the family needed a “decent burial”


*Note: If you have to reword the original text or alter the punctuation, put the alteration in brackets. Citing Sources In the current system, quotations (burrowed material) is
parenthetically cited

Parenthetical citation is done by
Indicating the author and page it was taken from

These parenthetical citations are explained in the “Works Cited”
page at the end of your paper where the sources themselves are listed. Theses
If you’re already committed to a thesis, write it down.

The most useful thesis are not just those that show the structure of your paper, but are also the ones that show the focus of your thinking.

Use your draft to test the truthfulness of your thesis about the topic.

If you still don’t have a good thesis, use your draft to discover it.

However, your final draft needs to have a STRONG thesis! Keep in Mind... 1. Focus on your tentative thesis.

Consider your thesis a theory you're trying to prove but you’re also willing to change

2. Vary your sources.

Use many different sources as evidence to support your assertions

3. Remember your audience.

Ask yourself:

-What do your readers want to know about your topic?

-What do they need to know to understand what you’re trying to say?

4. Be open to surprises.

You may get halfway through your draft and realize the part of your topic that really fascinates you,
which may cause you to revise your thesis or maybe even start a whole new outline.

BUT REMEMBER: It is NOT too late to shift the purpose or focus of your paper. Wrestling with the Draft Use two highlighters for this exercise 1. Choose a random page or two somewhere in your draft
2. With one color, mark the parts where you are a "less active" author. Meaning the sentences that contain facts or quotes and come from someone else.
3. Mark the parts that you are an active writer. This would be the parts that represent your own ideas or analysis. Which color dominates? Are you turning too much of your paper over to your sources? Or are you ignoring your sources and rattling on about what you think? In addition notice which color dominates are you taking turns paragraph by paragraph with your sources? Or are they nicely blended in with your own commentary? Does it Establish Significance? What might make readers consider that you have something important to say? Readers may find your topic of discussion interesting if: 1. It raises questions they want to know the answer to
2. It helps them to see what they've seen before in a way haven't seen it.
3. It amplifies what they may already know and care about, leading to new learning.
4. It moves them emotionally.
5. It takes a surprising point of view You should be able to read your draft and see exactly where you establish the significance of your project to your readers. Does it Say One Thing? A thesis can present different problems in an argumentative essay. Now is a good time to consider revising your thesis again.
Does it accurately capture what your trying to say? Is it specific enough? Is it interesting? Using a Reader Pick a reader to share your draft with who will respond honestly and make you want to write again. The most useful feedback will focus on whether there's a disconnect between what you intend in your draft and how the reader understands your intentions. Directing the Reader's Response The following questions might help your reader focus on giving helpful comments: 1. After reading the draft, what would you say is the main question the paper is trying to answer?
2. In your own words, what is the main point?
3. What did you learn about the topic? Using Material from an Interview Reviewing the Structure A question was asked to receive the info you are using Using your Thesis to Revise CUT AND PASTE REVISION: Ask yourself: Should I involve myself into essay as a participant, or to stay out of the way? 1. On a note card, write your thesis statement
2. Print two copies of your first draft
3. Cut apart a copy paragraph by paragraph and shuffle them
4.Set your thesis note card in front of you and set aside the paragraphs that are relevant and support your thesis completely
5. Set aside your reject pile and begin to reassemble a very rough draft using what you saved Should I describe the scene, or simply state what they said? Ex: "I could almost see him wrinkle his nose at the other end of the connection. He described method acting as "self indulgent," insisting that it encourages "island acting." Ex: Dave Pierini, a local Sacramento actor, pointed out, "You can be a good actor without using method, but you cannot be a good actor without at least understanding it." Trusting Your Memory Stop and study your sources! This will help you to seamlessly weave references into your writing Find a sense of purpose. Examining the Wreckage If you have found that your reject pile is bigger than your save pile, you might have to do more research on your topic. Other Ways of Reviewing the Structure Lead: How you begin your paper has a huge influence on how your essay will play out. You may find a stronger lead buried in the middle, try it as an alternative.
Logical Structure: Logical structure essays are designed to methodically explore a question or prove a point. Various ways essays might do this:
Thesis to proof
Problem to solution
Question to answer
Comparison and contrast
Simple to complex Re-Researching Return to the library databases, try a different google search or go back to interview someone. Helps so that you do not have to pause your writing to remind yourself what you are writing Do you even lift? Your First Draft Focus on your tentative thesis or your research question: consider your thesis a theory you're trying to prove but willing to change Vary your sources: Beware writing a single page that cites only one source Remember your audience: What do your readers want to understand about what you're trying to say Write with your notes: Use your notes as a guide so that you do not copy the original author Be open to surprise: Writing is thinking, the more you think the more you see Re-vision Revision means "re-seeing" or "reconceiving", see what you failed to notice the first time Step back from the draft and try to see it more from the reader's perspective and not the writers Enables you to shift your focus or rearrange the info Also helps to find gaps in info or sections of the draft the need more development Revise For:
Purpose
Thesis
Structure Ask yourself:
What is the purpose of this investigation?
What is the question I'm asking significant for people other than me?
What is my thesis? What seems the best answer to my question? Review Game Questions What's a good thing to keep in mind during your first draft? a) Speak softly and carry a big stick
b) Be open to surprises
c) Don't take any wooden nickels
d) Drugs are bad, mmkay
e) Trick question, all are correct What exercise can you do to review your structure? a) Cut and paste revision
b) Read it over 1000 times
c) Reevaluate the lead of your paper
d) A & C are correct Lead: How you begin your paper has a huge influence on how your essay will play out. You may find a stronger lead buried in the middle, try it as an alternative.
Logical Structure: Logical structure essays are designed to methodically explore a question or prove a point. Various ways essays might do this:
Thesis to proof
Problem to solution
Question to answer
Comparison and contrast
Simple to complex Which color dominates? are you handing too much of your paper over to your facts, or are you rattling on too much about what you think? Does it establish Significance? Readers may find your discussion topic significant if:
It raises questions they want to know the answer to
It helps them to see what they've seen before in a way they havn't seen it
It moves them emotionally
It takes a surprising point of view Using a reader pick a honest reader that can tell you whether there's a disconnect between what you intend in your draft and how your reader understands these intentions
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