The Case-Study Method in Graves (1975)

1)  What dangers are created by focusing so intently on a single complex individual like Michael? Graves is very certain that the complexity of individual writers' behaviors is too complex to be influenced by any small set of factors. What if he's too close to his subject and not looking carefully enough at patterns in his data, perhaps because he came into the project with the assumption writing was a single organic process? We can't change acorns into trees, but we certainly can bend stems and graft them to produce stronger saplings. Why can't we improve the functioning of subsystems in the composing process?

2)  Assuming that Graves was aware of the limitations of focusing on a single case at the end of his study, what do you think would be his next logical move as a researcher?   Where would you look to determine Graves' next move?

3)  Remember that, especially at a distance, all research seems flawed by those factors the researchers did not or could not take into account.  Don't hold it against them unless they specifically bring up doing something you think would be important and then dismiss it for reasons that do not convince you.  Otherwise, think of your detection of a gap in their data or analysis as a gift, the opportunity for new research.