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Unformatted text preview: The Secrets of Thinking of The Secrets of Thinking of Brilliant Ideas?
Or Selecting an A+ Topic for an Assignment • Suppose you are asked by an instructor in Rhetoric to write an essay on Race and Class or another topic due in two weeks. • You are free to choose any one topic you wish. Storm the Brain If at first the idea is not absurd, Storm the Brain then there is no hope for it. Albert Einstein • Look at the topic and mull it over, roll it over your tongue, inhale it, let it bounce around the neural pathways of your brain for a second or two. and don't stop! Keep your fingers typing or your pen moving on paper for the entire duration. • Now ready? set? write! Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having Perhaps imagination is only intelligence having fun. George Scialabba Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try! Ted Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! How to Narrow Your Topic How to Narrow Your Topic
• However, students often begin to write essays with nothing more in mind than a general concept. • This result in a vague and generalized essay, of little interest to the student and less to the instructor. STEP 1: Select a Subject Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. William Wordsworth • Am I interested in the subject? • Find something which SPARKS your interest. • Interest stimulates commitment to write a more convincing essay Step 2: Your Idea It is better to have enough ideas for Step 2: Your Idea some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all. Edward Bono • First decide whether you are going to write about a race or class • • • • issue. Suppose you choose race – which race are you going to deal with? You narrow your topic further to include Blacks. Before thinking that the teacher is forcing you to write on a topic that has been done to death or you have no interest in, consider your own interests. Since you are an athlete, how can you write a topic about Blacks that would tie in sports. Blacks are not discriminated in sports because their acceptance is based on ability. What about Blacks in upper management positions? STEP 3: NARROW THE SUBJECT INTO A STEP 3: NARROW THE SUBJECT INTO A TOPIC Intelligence is something we are born with. Thinking is a skill that must be learned. Edward de Bono • You have now decided to write on Blacks in Upper Management. • Now it’s time to begin preliminary research on the issue to further define your topic and the position that you want to argue. Step 4: Research Step 4: Research
• You begin with some websites and articles. You discover that Kareem Abdul Jabaar has been unable to attain a coaching position beyond the high school level. To you, it seems logical that a successful athlete who was responsible as a team captain should have no trouble being hired. After further research you find out that there are only 5 Black coaches in the NFL, 2 in the MBL, and 10 in the NBA. Yet, the majority of these athletes are Black. Outraged by these numbers you now have a stance to present in your argument. • Step 5: Choosing your topic Step 5: Choosing your topic
• You have decided that you want to address the discrimination of Blacks in coaching positions for professional athletic teams. Step 6: Ask Yourself these Key Questions Step 6: Ask Yourself these Key Questions
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Does this topic fit within the assignment? Is this topic interesting? Can this topic be argued? Can this topic be effectively developed within the assigned number of pages? Are there sufficient research materials to provide evidence? • If you answered “yes” to all of these, you are ready to write. Five Questions The University of Five Questions Michigan OWL • What am I writing about? (topic) • What am I trying to say about my topic? • • • (controlling idea) Why am I writing about my topic? (purpose) Why should my reader(s) be interested in my controlling idea? (audience) What knowledge do I have that makes me the right person to write about this topic? How to Broaden Your Topic: How to Broaden Your Topic:
• Hint 1: Look for parallels and opportunities for • Could you examine other Confederate symbols, in • • •
addition to the use of the Confederate flag? Could you think broadly about representation concerns and issues what might these be? Who are the key players in this controversy? Tax payers? Civil rights activists? The NAACP? What other issues are involved in this topic? Such as, how should be historical memorials be dealt with, when public sentiments has changed? How to Broaden Your Topic: How to Broaden Your Topic:
• Example: I'm thinking of doing a paper on “whether • historical monuments depicting the Confederate Civil War Heroes (namely white southern Generals) should be displayed on or in Government buildings or on public property paid for with tax payers dollars without giving equal opportunity for balanced representation from other parties involved in this historical moment in U.S. history." This topic as stated is seeking to answer a question for which there may be no answer yet more sociological and longterm research may need to be done. How can this be turned into a more manageable topic? In conclusion….. In conclusion…..
• Some people never have anything except ideals. ~E.W. Howe • Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted. ~Jules Renard, Journal, 10 April 1895 got tired of thinking. ~Arthur Block • A conclusion is simply the place where someone i never think at all when i write nobody can do two things at the same time and do them both well.
Don Marquis, Archy's Life of Mehitabel, 1933 • I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top. English Professor (Name Unknown), Ohio University Writing Inspirational Quote Writing Inspirational Quote
• To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of Joseph Chilton Pearce being wrong. Now to the Writing… Now to the Writing…
"The glow of inspiration warms us; it is a holy rapture." Ovid Credits Credits
• Excellent Site • Steps for Selecting Topics • Narrowing Topic • More about Narrowing Topic • Steps to Selecting Topics • OWL • http://www.quotationspage.com/subjects/
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