After reading “The Importance of Getting Curious” in your Textbook reading for t

by | Oct 10, 2021 | English | 0 comments

After reading “The Importance of Getting Curious” in your Textbook reading for this Milestone, complete EXERCISE 1.1 Building an Interest Inventory and submit STEP 4 (60 points). The purpose of this activity is to find a topic that will drive your research and your project for this course. It has been my experience that the more effort and intention students put into this activity, the more satisfied they are with their final project. Remember, you are seeking a TOPIC (1-2 words), not a research question, thesis statement, or introductory paragraph.
STEP 1: From time to time I’ll hear a student say, “I’m just not interested in anything enough to write a paper about it.” I don’t believe it. The real problem is that the student simply hasn’t taken the time to think about everything he knows and everything he might want to know. Try coaxing those things out of your head and onto paper by creating an “interest inventory.”
Start with a blank journal page or word processing document. Create three columns per page with the words below:
PLACES, TRENDS, THINGS, TECHNOLOGIES, PEOPLE, CONTROVERSIES, HISTORY, JOBS, HABITS, HOBBIES
Under each title, brainstorm a list of words (or phrases) that come to mind when you think about what you know and what you might want to know about the category. For example, for TRENDS, you might be aware of the use of magnets for healing sore muscles, or you might know a lot about extreme sports. Put both down on the list. Don’t censor yourself. Just write down whatever comes to mind, even if it makes sense only to you. This list is for your use only. You’ll probably find that ideas come to you in waves—you’ll jot down a few things and then draw a blank. Wait for the next wave to come and ride it. But if you’re seriously becalmed, start a new column with a new word from the list above and brainstorm ideas in that category. Do this at least four times with different words. Feel free to return to any column to add new ideas as they come to you, and don’t worry about repeated items. Some things simply straddle more than one category. For an idea of what this might look like, review the sample linked in your textbook on page 24.
Allot a total of 20 minutes to do this step: 10 minutes to generate lists in four or more categories, a few minutes to walk away from it and think about something else, and the remaining time to return and add items to any column as they occur to you. (The exercise will also work well if you work on it over several days. You’ll be amazed at how much information you can generate.)
STEP 2: Review your lists. Look for a single item in any column that seems promising. Ask yourself these questions: Is this something that raises questions that research can help answer? Are they potentially interesting questions? Does this item get at something I’ve always wondered about? Might it open doors to knowledge I think is important, fascinating, or relevant to my life?
Circle the item.
STEP 3: For the item you circled, generate a list of questions—as many as you can—that you’d love to explore about the subject. This student’s interest inventory turned up a topic she didn’t expect: teeth whitening. Here are some of her opening questions:
Are tooth whiteners safe?
What makes teeth turn browner over time?
How has society’s definition of a perfect smile changed over time?
Are whiter teeth necessarily healthier than darker teeth?
Is it true that drinking coffee stains your teeth?
How much money is spent on advertising tooth-whitening products each year?
What percentage of Americans feel bad about the shade of their teeth?
STEP 4: THIS IS THE STEP THAT YOU COMPLETE AS THE ASSIGNMENT.
Complete and submit a one-page pre-write about your circled topic.
DO NOT research information
Explain your interest in the topic.
Is the topic connected with your studies or a hobby?
Tell what you already know about the topic.
What is your level of experience/expertise with the topic?
Why is this topic important to you? To others?
Identify what you’d need to find out before you could write a paper on this topic.
(see Step 3 above)

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