Week 12 Discussion Guide: Tuesday and Thursday--Independent Research Project

        By Monday, send me an email containing the title of your presentation, and an abstract of 100 to 250 words that describe your project, its main sources of evidence, and your preliminary conclusions.  These titles and abstracts will be linked to the schedule so that your colleagues can be prepared to be an informed audience.  Consider the presentation's "title" just the working title of the report you will be writing when you have completed your research.  Changes are always likely. 

        Also, by Monday, fill out the linked "Participant Information Form" so that I will have the classroom equipment properly set up to support your presentation.  Note the five-minute requirement for all presentations.  Consent to a time limit in presentations, like agreements to keep articles and book chapters under a certain word count, are commonplace in academic conferences.  They insure that all participants will get a fair hearing, and that none will be forced to rush because previous presenters took up more than their fair share of the time.  It also insures that there will be time for questions following the presentations, which is a courtesy to the audience.

Confrence Paper Presenter Manners:

        For your own presentation, prepare as if you were about to give a speech to professional colleagues.  Briefly outline the issue you are researching, why it's important, what specific sources you have used and what each source is saying about the issue.  If you still have problems you still need to solve, describe them and ask us to help.  As you did in the biographical research project for the Hawthorne paper, use a handout to distribute the preliminary bibliographic documentation page.  Compress your talk to no longer than five minutes, and be ready to answer questions afterward.

Conference Audience Manners:

        While you are in the audience, listen carefully to the presentations, taking notes. Ask yourself if you really understand the terms used and the nature of the issues being described.  If not, wait until after the presentation and request explanation of key terms. Suggest solutions to the problems the presenters raise, and help them focus their theses and discover potential implications of their research.   Check the sources for possible quality problems.  If necessary, follow up on the discussion after class.  I believe that getting writers to reach this level of collegial cooperation is an important part of English 105's mission in Goucher's curriculum.  If your suggestions are acknowledged by the paper's author in the paper, I will give you extra credit on your own research project's grade.