Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Proposal thoughts

I've been writing my proposal offline. I'm about 6 pages in. I have no idea how long it should be, but I'm thinking 10 pages or so. I'm struggling with what order to put stuff in. The parts I have are: history and current state of blogging, pedagogical theories, structure of the specific class I'm focusing on, a lit review of what's been written on teaching and blogging, and my own research question. My thought is to put it in the following order:

1. My own research question--why I want to write this thing
2. Lit review
3. history and nature of blogging
4. pedagogical theories (which will reflect back on part 3)
5. structure of the class
6. outline of chapters
7. bibliography

Parts 3 and 4 are where I'm really getting bogged down because I see them as connected. I want my readers to understand what blogging is so they can see how it fits with the pedagogical theories. Structure of the class comes after because the way we set up the class had everything to do with what we knew about the nature of blogging and our pedagogical goals, i.e. what we knew about theory.

I think this gives me something to work with. Things were beginning to feel a little unwieldy and I felt I need to take a step back for a minute and see the big picture.


timna said...

have you talked this over with Clancy?
She might have a lot to suggest esp with parts 3 and 4.
(she might not be online this week).

Heather said...

I know the feeling! I think I never really knew what my dissertation was about until one of my readers made me sit down and write out one paragraph chapter summaries!

I think you can work with this, and 3 and 4 will probably sort themselves out as you write.

Michelle said...


If 3 and 4 feel tightly intertwined to you (they do to me), have you thought about collapsing those chapters using the linear history as the framework for the theoretical expositions?


Dr. Mon said...

I'm just tuning into ur blog for the first time. Sounds like an exciting project--look forward to reading more.

Here is the proposal outline that my rhet/comp committee member recommends for proposals of all sorts (papers/grants/etc.). Keep in mind that you are writing a "proposal" and not making your final arguments here--take some pressure off yourself to do a whole lot in #3 and #4--you'll have the whole diss to do that. Some of these sections may or may not be helpful to you:

1. Significance of your topic (why you’re writing about it, why it’s a worthy topic for investigation)

2. Conception/definition of your topic (how you’re thinking of, conceiving of your topic; how you’re defining your terms)--I think u could put nature of blogging here and save the longer history for the dissertation chapter

3. The way you are entering the on-going intellectual (and perhaps emotional) conversations surrounding this topic (here’s where you talk about the leading spokespeople/researchers on this topic. What are their opinions? What are the main currents of thought with regard to your topic? In what ways are you joining into the scholarly, literary, cultural, or professional conversation?)

4. Relation of this topic to your intellectual, gendered, academic, literate, cultural, professional, or maybe your emotional development

5. Methodology and rationale for subject selection (how are you conducting your research? library research? web research? interviews? ethnographic research? personal experience?) What reasons do you have for choosing the people, person, medium, ideas, or sites in your project? In other words, how are you choosing?

6. Plan of work (what’s your time line for the work you have left to do?)--chapter outline goes here

7. Bibliography

Sorry for the long intrusive post--hope it helps stimulate your thinking.