From Introduction to Conclusion

When preparing to draft your introduction:  Briefly sketch the research you’ve read that is specifically relevant to your topic.  Rephrase your question as a lack of knowledge or gap in understanding. o Make sure to let readers know what part of the research presented you will extend, modify, or correct.  Sketch an answer to So what if we don’t find out? This will encourage readers to continue reading.  Revise and position your claim. For theological work, place it in both the intro and conclusion. Include terms that seem to run all the way through your research:  Don’t use terms directly related to your topic.  Focus on concepts you bring to the argument and intend to develop. Questions to ask of your topic:  How does your topic fit into a larger context? o How does it fit into a larger story? o How does my topic function as part of a larger system? o How does your topic compare to and contrast with other topics like it?  Ask questions about the nature of the topic itself… o How has your topic changed through time? Why has this taken place? Where is it going? o How do the parts of your topic fit together in a system? o How many different categories of your topic are there?  Transform positive questions into negative ones? o Why is X not this way?  Ask speculative questions o Why? o Why? o Why?  Ask What if?  Ask questions that reflect disagreements with a source o If a source makes a claim you think is weakly supported or wrong, question it.  Ask questions that build on agreement o If a source makes a claim you think is persuasive, ask a question to extend its reach  Ask questions analogous to those others have asked about similar topics o Smith studied topic X using a Y approach. o How would Y approach affect my study of Z.  Look for questions that other researchers pose but don’t answer.

Propose some working answers to your question:  Take some time to speculate some answers.From Introduction to Conclusion  Find a discussion list online discussing your topic.  You can’t plausibly disprove the answer. This usually occurs when no relevant facts exist. reconsider your question. or you can’t obtain crucial sources. Evaluate your Questions Reconsider your questions when the following is true:  You can answer the question too easily by looking it up or summarizing a source.  Decide on a working hypothesis. hypothesis and use it to guide your research. the question is based on opinion. If an answer seems promising.  If you can’t imagine any working hypothesis. call it a working then proving it is pointless. because I want to find out Y.  You can’t find good evidence to support the answer. If you can’t imagine disproving a claim. the question is too broad. I’m working on the topic of X. . so that I (and you) can better understand Z.

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