Tuesday, September 4, 2007

My thoughts on your topics

In looking at the posts thus far, I'm glad to see many people are putting the blogs to good use. Particularly in publishing their thoughts on their current state of their topic, and thinking ahead toward potential sources and leads to pursue. Though some may need to play catchup.

Several things came to mind as I read your posts,
>Topic narrow/broad issue
I haven't seen any topics that I'd call too narrow, several I'd call too general. This is not about knowing exactly what you want to do, and you will go do it. This is a thinking and writing process focusing on using questions and more questions to get at the specific aspects of the topic that you're interested in. Keep asking questions, and write them down. Don't get caught up on having to figure out the answers yet, you have the rest of the semester to do that part.

>Sources, charged topics etc
Some topics may be politically charged, they are fine to pursue. This applies to all areas of research and source evaluation, but esp in such cases, is to always look at who or what the particular source is linked to. Knowing the who and the what of the source is the basics (what they do, their mission etc). To dig further, in many cases, it's a matter of following the $, who or what pays their bills. Or along the same lines, looking at the relationships and networks they exist in (their friends and enemies). There are more to this but you get the idea.


...post to be continued