In a few hours, you’ll be presenting your proposals for research topics to your class. It’s a casual assignment, but a serious one. We’re not looking for convincing arguments yet, and you don’t need to persuade us that you’ve answered the tough questions about your topic, just intrigue us with the possibilities for researching a surprising thesis and we’ll all enthusiastically applaud your initiative.
Be prepared to identify what’s surprising about your thesis, or apparently illogical, or what unintended consequences occurred from someone’s good intentions, or why adopting your proposal will have surprising results. Does a law enforcement effort result in a rise in the crime rate? That’s counterintuitive. Does raising the tax rate result in fewer tax dollars collected? That’s counterintuitive. Does the burgeoning middle class in China spell doom for the African elephant? Yes, it does, and it’s a wonderful example of counterintuitivity. Is it a catastrophe for a poor country to discover vast reserves of oil? Almost always, yes. Does mounting a big exhibit to champion the art of a graffiti artist make it almost impossible to appreciate its artistic power? Most certainly. Does it matter who “plays” the John Cage piano piece 4’33” for which the pianist merely sits at the piano for four and a half minutes without making a sound? Indeed it does.
I look forward to your wonderful ideas. If for any reason you are unable to make it to class today to perform and to act as audience and jury for your classmates, publish a post describing your topic and proposed thesis before 3PM today.
If you do come to class, you can skip this written assignment.
- Only required if you miss class today.
- Title your post Research Proposal—Author Name.
- Publish your definition essay in the A08: Research Proposal category.
- DUE TUE MAR 05 before class.
- Customary late penalties. (0-24 hours 10%) (24-48 hours 20%) (48+ hours, 0 grade)
- Process Writing category (15%)