Project #32441 - Mod 6 Choosing a research question

Part 1. Your goal is to come up with a problematic question, which will be the focus of your exploratory research.

1. Read Chapter 7 pages 153-158 (Ramage, et al.). Pay special attention to the Exploratory Essay described on page 157. This is your next assignment.

2. Complete at least one of the exploration exercises in the bullet list on page 158.

3. Now formulate a possible research question for your paper. Try to avoid phrasing your question as a 'yes' or 'no' question. Remember that the exploratory research paper does not require you to take a side. In fact, you should avoid, as much as possible, coming to a definite conclusion. In addition, using a 'yes' or 'no' question can subtly direct your thinking toward these two positions, so that your research may become focused on finding people who agree and people who disagree. That can be quite limiting. The assignment works much better with an open-ended question.

Forum: 6.1 - Exploratory Writing: Research Question
Post your question in the 6.1 - Exploratory Writing: Research Question forum. Watch for your instructor's feedback on your question. If you are having trouble finding a question, consult:

See attache documents: Exploratory research paper-Ideas


Part 2. Your Starting Point

To tell the story of any journey, a literal trip or a figurative one, you need to talk about where you started. Now that you have your research question, you need to record your thoughts, ideas, beliefs and other questions right now, before you start to do any research. This is your 'starting point.'

Your starting point is the beginning of your research log. 

1. Open a new document and title it 'Research Log.' Put your question in your log. 

2. Then read pages 158-159 (Ramage, et al.) the section titled 'Formulating a Starting Point.' 

3. Write your starting point in your log. If you don't have much to write, go to the description of the Exploratory Essay on page 157 and read the second sentence. Do some free writing or use some other brainstorming technique to explore the ideas raised in that sentence. Use what you learn to formulate your starting point. NOTE: Your brainstorming is not your starting point; from your brainstorming, you must write your starting point. Your starting point ends with a clear statement about what you will try to find out first, as you begin your research process. 


Part 3. The research Log

Your research log is a record of the process of your research. You keep it in chronological order, the same order in which you will write your Exploratory Paper. You might think of the log as a diary or journal, a day-to-day record of your efforts to examine your topic. 

1. Read Chapter 7, pages 159-160 (Ramage, et al.), the section 'Taking "Double-Entry" Research Notes,' and pages 164-166 (stop at 'Writing a Critical Preface'). 

2. Read Keeping a research Log

You should realize that your research log is, in essence, a draft of your final paper. If you keep a thorough research log, you will find that 80 percent or more of your final paper is already written by the time it's time to convert the log into a story for your paper.

To illustrate how your thinking gets translated into your research log and how your log gets translated into your exploratory paper, view this presentation on the exploratory writing process. It takes you step-by-step through "Exploratory Research, how your thinking, your log, and your paper work together," and allows you to review the whole process at the end of the sequence. 

See attached document: sample explaratory research process

Part 4. Dialectic Process

The word 'dialectic' comes from the same root as the word 'dialogue.' A dialogue is a discussion between two people. A good, interesting dialogue contains different points of view, different angles of vision. The dialectic process is the heart of your Exploratory Research Paper. You must bring in varying points of view.

For an example of how this is done, read the essay "How Do Online Social Networks Affect Communication" in Ramage et al., pages 169-173.

Exploratory Writing: Dialectic Process
Now post your answer to question 2, page 174, in the 6.4 - Exploratory Writing: Dialectic Process forum.

The dialectic process involves the critical thinking skills of analyzing and synthesizing ideas. You practiced analysis and synthesis in the Summary and Strong Response exercises and assignment. Now read Chapter 12 pages 301-302, 305-307 and 313-315 (Ramage, et al.) for further guidance.

Part 5. The Exploratory Research Log and Paper is not due this week, but you should read the assignment, so you understand what you are working toward as your final product. The link to submit the assignment is provided in Module 7.

The key to this assignment is examination of the topic from different perspectives, actively seeking opposing or alternate points of view to analyze, compare, contrast, synthesize and evaluate. This is the dialectic process. Remember, you do not need to come to a conclusion or take a stand; in fact, you must avoid taking a firm position. You can and should say if you find one position more logical, easier to believe, or in some way more desirable than another, just don't declare that position to be the right or best one. Instead, keep your mind open to additional questions, contradictions and complexities that may arise in the course of your research.

Over the next few days, you must begin your research. Be sure to keep an accurate, dated Research Log that includes all the necessary reference information for each source, an annotation of the information you found in that source, and your thoughts and reflections, showing how your thinking is influenced by what you learn and what you will do next.

Assignment Instructions: see attached documents-Exploratory Research Log and Paper

Part 6.  Preview: Progress Report

You will be required to post a short report on the progress of your research. The report must include at a minimum:

  • a statement of your research question
  • at least two differing points of view on some aspect of your question
  • the most interesting or surprising thing you have learned so far in your research
  • a question for the rest of the class to answer, concerning some aspect of your research question



All Original

** Let me know which pages you will need from the Book


Subject English
Due By (Pacific Time) 06/05/2014 06:00 pm
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