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Stasis Theory

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UMD Academic Writing

on 9 April 2015

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Transcript of Stasis Theory

Stasis Theory
University of Maryland
Academic Writing Program
Conjecture
After you find your sources, you can organize them into a stasis grid.
Stasis Theory is Used in Two Ways:
Invention
Organization
Generate new questions
Look at your topic differently
Dig beneath the surface
Inquiry = go beyond the obvious

Understand the author’s main arguments
Focus on 3-4 interesting ideas to YOU
Put those ideas in stasis grid
This helps you see where the main debates are

Example: Laptops in the Classroom
Identify Your Research Question
From "Laptops in the classroom"
to
"Laptops in the College Classroom and memory"
to
Causal Question
to
"Does taking notes on a laptop impact cognitive retention for college students?"
Causal
Value
Action
Jurisdiction
Did it happen?
Does it exist?
What is it?
How is it defined?
Are laptops in the classroom a problem?

Are neighboring students impacted by non-class related laptop use?
How did it get this way?
What are/will be the effects of this?
Do laptops in the classroom improve student performance?

Do laptops in the classroom lead to student disengagement?
Is this a good/bad/fair/unfair thing?
Is it better/worse than other alternatives?
Should it be sought out or avoided?
Is "active learning" always "better learning"?

How important is student engagement in a college classroom?
What should we do about this?
What actions are possible?
Should laptop use be restricted in the classroom?

What can professors do to increase student engagement?
Who should handle this matter?
Who has the right to decide?
Who should regulate laptop use: students or professors?
Stasis Theory is a system for inventing or analyzing what is at issue in any debate.
“Stasis theory presents us with categories or questions to pose in understanding a debate or understanding where there is debate or disagreement in an issue.”
Conjecture (or Fact/Definition)
Causal
Value
Action
Jurisdiction
Overview of Individual Stases:
Full transcript