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Nolan J. Tiersch

Professor Coco

English 1001

21 April 2018

What is the Intention of Inquiry?

I frequently become deeply involved with seemingly random trains of thought or general

inquiry towards concepts I encounter throughout common day action. Traditionally, I felt

punished by the academic priority in my life, as each moment feels it should be put aside and

dedicated to topics presented in my education. Thus, when I heard of an academic assignment

exploring a desired topic of inquiry, I was overwhelmed with excitement and for once felt

acceptance within the academic system. Instantly, I gravitated towards psychology as the theme

to focus my inquiry project around; this is due to a reoccurring fascination to the field of research

and its potential integration into modern medicine. I felt inclined to research the societal

standards set for one to be classified as, “Stabile or normal psychological function”, and the

approaches offered to alter those outside of this mental status. Considering these desired topics, I

formatted my initial line of inquiry (LOI), “Why do middle-class Americans dogmatically rely

on societal standards to feel content?”

The original nature of my LIO was extremely broad, in the sense that research applicable

to the focuses within the main topics mentioned would exceed a defined research paper length.

However, I felt confidence in the approach Ms. Coco depicted early in the semester; she

instituted a systematic methodology to standardize a LOI refining process for the class. The

approach consisted of classes dedicated toward group evaluation, peer review/discussion and
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librarian seminars. During the group evaluation, I was met with great conceptual guidance

offered by Ms. Coco and paired students. I found she had a way of extracting the essence of what

each student would find conceptually pleasing to expand through their LOI. This focusing of

conceptual ideas within the proposed LOI’s transitioned nicely into finding keywords in an

effective manner for the research process. I found that class time set aside to peer

review/discussion was least beneficial of the three aspects to the approach. Despite some of the

downfalls to this aspect, my peers did offer valuable input for the communication of material to a

potential audience. With thanks to the librarians’ knowledge, I took a massive stride into

scientific research; I was shocked by the profound effect that breaking my LOI into keywords

would have on the research process. I mistakenly applied the concept of keyword itemization in

the later stages of the refinery process. I commend the sophistication of the model generated by

the English department to the approach of the semester’s theme of inquiry.

With the mentioned approach, I was able to develop an LOI that read, “Why do middle-

class Americans dogmatically comply with societal norms to achieve intrapersonal bliss, and

how might integration of other cultures affect Americans psychologically?”. Despite an effective

refining process executed ideally by my instructor, I managed to generate an annotated

bibliography centralized around an all-embracing focus. The format of my LOI at this point was

a forced combination of two semi-compatible questions. The block-like structure and lack of

flow throughout my LOI used for the annotated bibliography, drove my academic research away

from a compelling or supported view point. Further refining was essential to the discovery of

adequate source material available for a formal writing assignment. I chose to approach a final

revision of inquiry by questioning my personal intention for research into medicinal applications
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of human psychology. I found solace in the idea that I may ultimately conclude my inquiry by

offering possible advancement to modern treatment of mental illness.

Once I determined a fulfilling intention for research, I was able to truly embrace the focus

of my research assignment. I consolidated the final LOI to ask, “How does the methodology for

treatment of mental illness differ between Eastern and Western cultures?”. With the Teacher’s

Comment Draft (TCD) in mind, I took a practical approach to present a simple LOI and state

subsequent questions within the introduction. Sub-questions would then be restated and explored

in the body of the paper, in effort to systematically present topics and promote parallelism

through the paper. I feel this format would aid the audience’s ability to stay in sync with the

layout of researched material approaching a conclusion. I was able to use a couple of the

originally proposed sources listed in the annotated bibliography. The second researching was

more efficient to locate new sources, due to specific keywords for my final critical analysis based

upon current psychological models. The main take away from this project, was the exposure of a

platformed approach to reliably locate academic topics through a universal method of search. I

appreciate the value of this exposure, as academic research is essential to the acceptance or

validation of any idea claimed in a formal writing assignment. In hindsight, it was also valuable

to be informed of my downfall during the research process (reference annotated bibliography).

The initial location of academic research was ironically diluted with unconnected information,

thus forcing me to synthesis a hypothetical answer. It appears fundamentally contradictive to the

true nature of inquiry; unlike a physical train, a train of thought does not require a determined

destination.