Screenr on Week 4, MSE1 Foci, and Research Retrieval

By , February 1, 2010 9:15 am

MSE1: Purpose and Foci

By , February 1, 2010 8:32 am

Your MSE1 topic needs to accomplish a few objectives that, if I get you thinking about them sooner rather than later, can greatly enhance the quality of your proposal, RD, FD, and therefore your grade.

Think early and often about what you hope to achieve in your MSE. Specifically, how do you want readers’ minds to change as a result of reading your essay? There are several types of foci you may want to consider:

Making An Argument is simple straightforward, and clear: consider all the opinions people can have on an issue, and then advocate the stance you find most logical, providing reasons for supporting that stance. Your counterargument (CA) would be a paragraph about how others could disagree with you and how you refute or concede that perspective.

Proposing a Solution requires you to (1) identify a problem in the world, demonstrating its existence, then (2) argue for the implementation of a solution (or series of solutions) that will reduce/eliminate that problem and then (3) exploring the benefits of that solution’s implementation. CA could be about a less-effective solution that others may take and why it’s not as logical as yours.

In a Searching for Causes purpose, you’d demonstrate the existence of a trend—something that’s happening more (or less) over the last 10 years or so—then providing speculative paragraphs about where that trend came from. CA would be a cause to the trend you don’t buy into and why you don’t.

An Evaluative essay is like the Critique, just on a grander scale. You could apply specific, appropriate criteria in order to evaluate a text (anything that can be researched, really: a written text, a movie, an artist, consumer electronics, a video game, etc.) and then heavily support your judgments with synthesized research.

There are certainly ways you can blend these different approaches, too. For instance, you could explore the causes of a problem before proposing a solution, or you could evaluate a text then argue that it’s good/bad for our culture, and so on. I don’t want to be too pedantic about topics, but I also thought I’d give you some food for thought. Email me any questions you have, and happy proposing!

Screenr for Week 3.5: Critique Wrapup, MSE1 Intro

By , February 1, 2010 8:20 am

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