January 21, 2013
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Every proposal even very brief ones should have an abstract. Some readers read only the
abstract and most readers rely on it initially to give them a quiz overview of the proposal and
later to refresh their memory of its main points
Though it appears first in a research proposal, the abstract should be written last, as a concise
summary (approximately 120-150 words) of the proposed project's research question, its
objectives and its methods.
The abstract should appear on a page by itself.
Determining if the research topic will work. Whether research has been done, is it a viable
The abstract provides the reader with his/her first impression of the research project, and, by
acting as a summary, frequently provides the reader with his/her last.
English 112/04M in subject for emails
The research proposal will change, as the research and analysis begins. Deter from
completely changing the topic or direction of the research paper. If this happens please
consult the prof.
The research topic I have chosen focuses on the Canadian mental health system and
homelessness. Specifically, I want to explore how Vancouver as a community addresses the
problem of homelessness among the chronically mentally ill. My research begins by
examining Harrison's exploration of homelessness in Vancouver as well as Haraway's case-
study of the Belgium town of Geel, where community-wide programs for tackling the
problem of homelessness among the mentally ill have been running for the last decade. I will
also examine Patterson's study of the Village Integrated Service Agency (VISA), a pilot
project based in Long Beach, California that seeks to address the ways in which the mental
Start broad, and then focus in on the main sources that will be used in the paper
(approximately 1 sentence). Second sentence should narrow in on the topic of the research
paper. Third sentence introduces the most important sources and gives a very brief
explanation (include sources that are the most important and relevant. The last sentence
outline what exactly will be done with the sources, ties it all together, how the sources are
going to be used in conjunctions with the research paper.
Going to need three peer-reviewed sources for the research paper.
An annotated bibliography is a list of academic books, articles, and documents relevant to the
research project. Each sources is followed by a brief (usually about 80-100 words) descriptive
and evaluative paragraph - the annotation. The purpose of the annotated bibliography is to
inform the reader of the relevance and suitability of the sources cited to the research topic.
An annotated bibliography also serves several important functions:
1. It gives credit to those who have laid the groundwork for the research you are going to
2. It demonstrated both your knowledge and understanding of the theoretical and research 2. It demonstrated both your knowledge and understanding of the theoretical and research
issues related to your research question by showing your ability to identify and evaluate
3. It demonstrates your ability to integrate and synthesize existing research into your
Annotations vs. Abstracts:
Abstracts are descriptive summaries often found at the beginning of scholarly articles and
papers in journals and databases. Although they can be very useful for initially narrowing
down you search for sources, it is best not to rely completely on abstracts; there may be more
important material relevant to your research included in the article or paper that is not
mentioned in the abstract. There is absolutely no substitute for reading the source itself.
Annotated bibliographies are, as the name suggests, descriptive and evaluative. They give
your reader a chance to see the content of your sources and demonstrate the relevance of the
sources to your research topic. Abstracts attached to articles or essays cannot do this.
Next Monday January 28, will be the first peer editing session
Creating an annotated bibliography calls for the application of summary skills (your ability to
use and identify abstract language, synthesis, and reporting expressions) and informed library
Locate and record citations to peer-reviewed books, periodicals.
Briefly examine and review those items to determine their relevance to your project
Cite the book, article or document using MLA style
Each annotation should (a) summarize the main argument the book or article chosen, (b)
explain how this work illuminates your topic and (c) be approximately 80-100 words long.
Your proposal will need three academic sources. The final version must incorporate at least 4.
Goldscheider et al. use data from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Women and
Young Men to see if living away from home changes the attitudes of young adults toward
traditional family roles. The authors find that their hypothesis is strongly supported in young
females but less so in young males. They conclude that spending time away from parents
before marrying increases the sense of individualism and self-sufficiency in young women.
This study's findings lend support to my research to my research which examines how going
to university is important for developing a strong sense of individuality in young women.
Research Proposal (Due January 28) *Bring 2 copies
2. Annotated bibliography (at least 3 sources)
Research proposal counts for participation marks
Bring the course package to next class January 23, 2013
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
The final exam will be an essay type question relating to the course package
Stanford Prison Experience (Phillip Zimbardo):
• If you are told you cannot have it, you want it more
• Power only seems to relevant destruction
• Trying to recreate the psychological experience of being a prisoner
• Determine how prisoners become prisoner and guards become guards
• In a prison it is difficult to determine if there are psychological issues or personality
defects etc. that can not be controlled in a real prison
• Prisoners that populated the prison had gone through psychological evaluations and
weeded out people with psychological issues (only normal participants were accepted)
• Wanted to determine if the prison will produce changes in the people
○ Groups were composed of homogenous people (same types of people)
• Zimbardo was incorporated/taking a role within his own experiment
• Prisons and concentration camps in this article have been connected (similarities)
• Dehumanisation and immasculinity was trying to be reproduces in the prisoners in the
○ It is difficult to do this when subjects know the term (length of the study)
○ Try to rob subjects of their identity through uniforms and structure of the study
Give the subjects feminine clothing, and the same hair colour
• Zimbardo related wearing pieces of clothing with ways of acting or behaving
○ Prisoners wore clothing like dresses and started to walk and move in way that
were more feminine
• Prisoner had to ask for everything, even simple things, creating helplessness and child
• Guards were able to put up with smells of the prison, because they felt like they have
the power to do so
• Once a prisoner is in the prison, the past has been wiped away, no family, friends,
○ Zimbardo created a windowless prison in order to reproduce the psychological
effect of disconnection of time and previous life
• Guards wore glasses that prisoners could not look into their eyes (general uniform for
○ Guards were given freedom to improvise and create their own rules, law/order
• The prisoner/guard relationship was symbiotic (reliant on each other)
• People loose sight of the fast that this was a study and not reality
• Prisoners believed the guards were sub-human
• Prisoners start to see each other as the guards see them
• The social situation that one is put in is stronger than one's personality
○ When you are in a situation, one's personality is the first thing to be overwritten
• The normal behaviour for the guards becomes abusive, and if the guards step outside of
the norm, the guards are thought to be off
• Clash between personalities and values, and the environment that has been created
within the prison
○ Even the guards that have power, are beginning to feel powerless
• The guards who were showing compassion for the prisoners just wanted to ego boost
from being liked in the prison, rather than being nice to be nice
○ Even the good guards stood up for the prisoners
• It no longer matters the length of the study, but rather what is happening to the
personalities and behaviour of the guards and prisoners
• • What is good/correction if it is made up of bad
• Security becomes the only thing that the study leaders were worried about
○ Dismantle the jail in order to have security
• Blames the victims for what they are getting
• Someone who sees as a pacifist and non-violent after five days was able to turn/over
ride and could not believe they were doing the things they did
• Ended the study after only 6 days January 30, 2013
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
The techniques of summary and critical summary are intended to liberate you from the
written arrangement in your source materials so that you are no longer a slave to them:
putting your sources into your own words also allows you to put them into new
arrangements - with each other, with your research proposal, etc. Rearranging source material
is also the first step in construction a thesis: your thesis will emerge from your research
In academic writing, meaning and intelligibility depend on an organizing principle. High
level abstractions or concepts such as "Social Organization" or "The Role of the Media" are
meant to dominate lower level assertions: they make texts meaningful. Such concepts are
crucial for writing your thesis. Readers generally use a paper's concepts to manage their
comprehension simply because writers, in planning, drafting and revising their work, spend a
great deal of time constructing concepts that control and connect detail and examples. If your
paper does not supply a thesis, your reader is left to speculate and may supply one of his/her
own making: the problem her is that the reader's concepts of your thesis may be completely
different from the one you intended.
• Must make the thesis explicit, upfront, and tell the reader what you are setting out to
Thesis Writing: Aboutness and Coherance
A thesis supplies your paper's aboutness by tying its diverse items of information together. A
good test for aboutness is to ask if a series of sentences you have written could be given a
title. It is difficult to give a title to a series of randomly strung together sentences that have no
organizing principle. In the context of academic writing, random sentences have no meaning
because a reader cannot say for sure what the writer is talking about: such randomly strung
together sentences cannot earn marks.
A thesis also supplies your paper with the organizing principle of coherence. Coherence is the
principle that gives your entire essay meaning. Coherence is supplied by the reiteration of
your thesis at strategic points throughout your paper. Such reiteration continually (re)
establishes the relevance of specific details through your thesis. Papers without such
reiterations are considered incoherent.
A common form of incoherence that occurs when large pockets of specific/concrete details
are piled on top of each other in a piece of writing: when disproportion occurs, the writer fails
to convey a strong sense of the thesis to the reader, stranding him/her in too many
disconnected details. To avoid this problem, think of reader of always having the following
question in your mind: Why is the writer telling me this now? Imagine your reader asking
him/herself this question about every single thing you write. If you as a writer cannot answer
this question, you cannot reasonably expect your reader to do so.
As mentioned above, your thesis guides a reader's interpretation. Take the following very
The table was bare, the floor swept clean. The window was open, and a keep breeze crossed
the room. The walls glimmered in the pale light.
Here, a reader would have no problem identifying the various components mentioned above Here, a reader would have no problem identifying the various components mentioned above
s/he knows that this is vaguely about a room. However, the passage has no meaning, no
principle of coherence.
The scene was one of desolation and abandonment of emptiness. The table was bare, the
floor swept clean. The window was open, and a keep breeze crossed the room. The walls
glimmered in the pale light.
This scene is now on of desolation, loss and abandonment.
All clarity and candour, the scene suggested renewal and fresh beginning. The table was
bare, the floor swept clean. The window was open, and a keep breeze crossed the room. The
walls glimmered in the pale light.
The scene is now one of renewal, promise, and hope.
The first sentence is the thesis statement.
Situating your Thesis Statement:
Ideally, the reader will meet your thesis statement at the beginning of your essay, before
encountering the facts that develop it. However, even though this is a natural position for the
reader to encounter the thesis statement, it is not so natural for the writer: a thesis only starts
to come into being after conducting some research. Redrafting your paper is the only way to
refine your thesis.
Your thesis should also be paraphrased at strategic points throughout the essay. In other
words, you should restate your thesis (but not simply in an identical way) at
paragraph/section divisions where your reader has to make important decisions about what to
do with the information presented (ex. What to retain and what to drop). A strong thesis will
thus direct your readers clearly, helping him/her to concrete, remember and read efficiently.
However, this strength is proportional to the quality of the writer's effort in constructing the
• Have sections headings that allow you to rephrase the thesis in the start
• Alert the reader about the purpose as they move from one section to the next
• Thesis must be clear otherwise the reader will be unclear
1. Thesis + supporting paraphrase of thesis = thesis statement
2. Partial renewal of thesis, followed by narrowing of the topic
3. Supporting detail
4. Renewal of thesis
5. Partial renewal of thesis
6. Supporting detail
7. Partial renewal of thesis
8. Support detail
9. Partial renewal of thesis
In the schema, the thesis frames lower-level material and controls the reader's interpretation
of that material by telling him/her (a) what to keep in mind and (b) how any new information
relates to the thesis. In this way, the thesis creates your essay's meaning and coherence.
• By providing unmistakable guidance to interpretation, your thesis explicitly instructs
the reader in how to condense lower-level details into higher-level, space saving
abstractions. This reduces the build of information without scarifying it, leaving the
reader free to concentrate on new material reader free to concentrate on new material
• Your thesis explicitly instructs the reader as to which issues can be temporarily placed
in the background but should be kept handy for later use. When these issues are needed,
a partial restatement of your thesis will explicitly recall them and show the reader how
they relate to the information currently being discussed.
• Your thesis will explicitly instruct the reader as to which materials are peripheral and
can be sent to long-term storage, or perhaps even forgotten. Such material will not be
needed later, and do no have to take up the reader's attention for very long
• Your thesis will emerge from your research proposal
• When putting together the thesis, show the reader how you have put together the
○ Some background information that is essential for the remainder of the paper
○ The language used in the thesis is heavily conceptual February 4, 2013
Monday, February 04, 2013
February 6: In class #2 prep
February 8: peer-editing 1st page of draft (intro)
February 13: critical summary
Your research essay introduction should include:
1. Your thesis statement
2. A brief outline of 2-3 of the major points you will make in discussing your thesis: use
forecasting: "First, I will examine ….; second, I will explore ….; third I will consider
3. Brief citations from the most important sources you will be using (ex. In your thesis
statement and in your forecasts)
4. Any important introductory definition(s) (use a research definition, rather than a
a. Do not use dictionary definitions, but instead how the sources define the concept
5. The hallmarks of scholarly style discussed so far: conceptual language, reporting
expressions, citation and forecast (remember, how you write your research paper is as
important as the topic you are researching).
Your introduction will be approximately one page long February 6, 2013
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
Techniques for Critical Summary:
Before getting into critical summary, some words on summarizing case studies, fold-stories,
novels, films, creative non-fiction, etc.: these types of writing do not always clearly announce
their conceptual levels; it is therefore up to the reader to supply the higher level concepts that
the original does not supply on its surface. Thus, a reader might need to give names to story's
key moments/episodes or provide a key concept to explain a situation. In doing so, a reader
creates meaning and displays his/her critical skill and insight. For example, a reader might
summarize a report stating "Several schools were burnt down in the last six months" using
the concept "Vandalism." Or, when talking about the character of Cinderella, a reader could
use the concept "the representation of women." More of this on pages 95-102
Part of your role as an academic writer is to guide the reader through the different levels of
information the constitute your argument: you demonstrate abstract/conceptual/statements
with concrete details and explain the concepts at work in specific phenomena.
Critical Frame and Critical Stance:
As the name implies, critical summary builds on the techniques of summary (please
remember to review notes of summary). A critical frame is an indispensable part of the
• Critical frame introduces a source openly and directly using reporting expressions
○ Ex. Calhouns essay "Heterosexuality" argues that
• A critical frame indicates
One of the major difficulties in writing a critical summary arises when you submit yourself to
someone else's rigorous argument: you may feel that you are not in a position to criticize it.
For example, you may thing that the argument is completely convincing (or unconvincing) or
that you have nothing to add: this simply means you lack critical distance. To overcome this
problem, you must detach yourself from the original argument: constructing a critical frame
is the first step is detaching yourself from your source, allowing you to judge it impartially.
Your frame first creates critical distance through the use of "reporting expressions" -
references to the author(s), followed by a discursive verb:
• Smith claims ….
• Jones suggests ….
• Fiske and Hartley argue ….
Critical framing thus allows you to begin creating the distance needed to make a critique: it
tells your reader that you are reporting information from elsewhere, and that you are removed
from it. A crucial part of the critical frame is a critical stance, where you evaluate the
argument you have reconstructed in your summary.
A critical stance is where you offer the reader statement of your own based on your analysis
and interpretation of your sources. However, a critical stance does not simply condemn an
argument as "mistaken" or "wrong"; nor does it praise an argument as being "totally
excellent." A critical stance is not simply an "opinion" - especially one which praises or
Begin constructing your critical stance by looking carefully at your summary of your source's
argument (again, remember to review your notes on summary!). An apparently airtight argument (again, remember to review your notes on summary!). An apparently airtight
argument can, when summarized, exhibit gaps that call for further questioning: pieces that
seemed to slide together at first may not fit together so easily in the summarized version. To
ensure that these gaps are not the result of misunderstanding the text, ask yourself:
• Are the weak logical connections in my summary actually in the source? Is there a fault
premise? A faulty conclusion? Are there skipped logical steps?
• Is there enough information presented to the reader?
• What kind of evidence does the source use? Historical? Sociological? Ethnographic?
• What methodology does the author use? Quantitative? (statistic, questionnaires,
theoretical analysis, experimental, etc.) Qualitative? (participant observation, case
studies, interviews, etc.)
In the (admittedly unlikely) event that logical problems do exist in your source, highlight
them for your reader. Even if there are no major logical problems in your source, asking
questions about the author's evidence and methodology enable you to assess the effectiveness
of each point in his/her argument.
Your critical summary should thus show awareness of how an argument uses logic, evidence
and methodology; if you find problems, your criticism should be constructive and should
make suggestions for possible improvements: above all, try not to inflate a flaw into a
condemnation,. Instead, ask yourself if something could be added to the original argument -
using your own reasoning - to strengthen it. In this way you show respect to the original
writer's argument, which may have a lot to teach you despite its problems.
Categorizing Your Critical Stance
There are three critical stance (a) agreement; (b) disagreement; (c) sitting on the fence. If you
find yourself having trouble articulating your critical stance, try the following techniques.
a) If you find yourself agreeing with an argument but cannot say why, play Devil's
Advocate, an excellent technique for gaining critical distance: ask yourself, "What
would someone who disagrees with this argument say?" These rival viewpoints may be
explicitly stated or they many need to be coaxed out. By reading in this way, you
provide yourself with critical distance and a good sense of the argument your source is
opposing, which you can then use to flesh out your stance. However, you may find that
the source does not successfully overcome these objections; you may even find yourself
changing your initial stance.
b) If you find yourself disagreeing with an argument but cannot say why, ask your self
what views/viewpoint it is opposing. Again you may find your self changing you initial
c) If you find yourself sitting on the fence, but cannot say why, follow the techniques in
(a) and (b) above. Since sitting on the fence involves being aware of both the pros and
cons of an argument, so you will need to convey to your reader an awareness of both
sides of an issue and their limits February 15, 2013
Friday, February 15, 2013
FEB 25: 2 Pages of draft
• 1st page revised, and new second page
FEB 27: Prep for the third in class
Definition (AW 135-147)
Definition brings important concepts terms into focus. It helps a writer address readers who
may not be familiar with key research-related terms used by other academic writers and not
researchers. For readers already familiar with those terms, definition confirms common
Apposition, in an instrument of definition: it is directly attached to an abstraction and use
other words to define it. Take the following summary:
Chavez's work on undocumented immigrants offer new perspectives on transnational
communities: communities whose members leave their homes and settle in another country
while maintaining important connections with their original homes.
Here, the writer recognizes the reader may not be familiar with the abstraction/concept
"transnational communities," and takes steps to address him/her.
The use of apposition can also help a writer to define his or her position by sharpening the
application of an abstraction:
Academic knowledge is now generally recognized to be a social accomplishment, the
outcome of a cultural activity shaped by ideology and constituted by agreement between a
writer and a potential skeptical discourse community.
Here, the apposition sharpens up the very abstract concept of "social accomplishment" to the
relation between an academic writer and his/her audience (AW 135-140)
Definition usually takes the form of a core statement of equivalence, which basically
translates into the formula "x=y". The core statement often, but not always, uses the verb "to
• Salutations are verbal and physical gestures
• Cybernetics or the science of maintaining order in a system
Note that the apposition forces a particular grammatical structure on the writing: the subject
of the verb tends to be short and the complement much longer.
The subjects in the above sentences are also abstract nouns, which tend to immobilize events
or the performance of an action. For example, "Billy bullies Mary" is a concrete situation;
however, in the abstraction "Bullying," both concrete individuals - Billy and Mary -
disappear (a grammatical phenomenon known as agentlessness) and the verb of the sentence
is turned into an abstract noun: nominalization. In a similar fashion, one might turn the
concrete report "Fred burnt down his high-school last night" into the abstraction
"Vandalism": once again, the concrete specifics, "Fred" and "his school," disappear and are
converted into an abstract noun, "vandalism."
Formal and Sustained Definitions
Formal definition is a style of definition that focuses closely on a concept and isolates it for
scrutiny by separating it from accidents, mix-ups, fuzziness and real life. Formal definition is scrutiny by separating it from accidents, mix-ups, fuzziness and real life. Formal definition is
therefore ideal in focus.
Day care is the institutional provision of care-taking services to young children, these
services including feeding, supervision, shelter and instruction.
In this example the concept "Daycare" is defined by the appositional phrase (beginning with
"is the ……") The apposition enlarges the reader's view of the concept by identifying the
larger class of activity to which "daycare" belongs: "the institutional provision of care taking
services" (other services would be healthcare, corrections, education etc.)
The definition of "daycare" then goes on to refocus the reader's attention on the concept by
identifying the features of "daycare" that differentiate it from the other members of broader
class of "the institutional provision of care-taking services"; thus, "daycare provides care "…
to young children, these services including feeding, supervision, shelter, and instruction."
Thus, the structure of formal definition consists of a double movement: enlargement to
classify and reduction to differentiate.
Use formal definitions at least once, but it may be used several times if necessary.
The structure of definition allows the writer to focus on a concept's situation in the broader -
social, cultural, etc. - context. For example, a writer might contextualize the concept of
"television" by placing it in the larger conceptual system of "media." However, this type of
contextualizing is interpretive: definition places concepts in contexts that are plausible but
not inevitable: they can and will be re-interpreted.
Writers also frequently use definition to emphasize the key concepts they intend to use in
As the term suggests, therapeutic supervision combines surveillance with … By
deconstruction, I mean the critique of Western metaphysics….
Writers can also use definition to direct the reader's attention to an important concept by
analyzing it, that is, by dividing it into parts and comparing it to its near neighbours"
Life broadcasting, the print media, particularly daily newspapers, popular magazines and
Each of these strategies - calling attention to a word, analysis, comparison - develops the