Final Paper Topic Proposal and Annotated Bibliography due Oct.25, 2016
In order to go a good job on your final paper topic proposal you will need to do the following:
1) Identify a research question you are interested in investigating.
Articulate this question as a question:
For example—“I’m interested in the relationship between Jewish and Greek rhetorical traditions under Hellenism. To what extent can we argue that they were distinct from one another?
I’m interested in the relationship between Jewish and Christian rhetorical strategies in the Gospels. To what extent can we consider the Gospels as a rhetoric unique unto themselves? To what extent can we consider them Jewish rhetorical texts?
I’m interested in the types of rhetoric that Aristotle’s three categories—epideictic, deliberative, judicial, leaves out….I want to develop a theoretical concept that can account for the things happening in today’s digital world—on FB, on the Internet, in Instagram, in Visual Rhetoric. To what extent does classical rhetoric in the Greco-Roman tradition apply to the contemporary digital rhetorical sphere? How might we stretch it to accommodate these new modes of delivery/invention/arrangement/memory, etc?
2) Brainstorm how you might begin to answer the question—what types of evidence will you need to make the case (historical context, theoretical frameworks, specific case examples) and which resources you will consult? (this is not a general question; this is a specific question, you need to identify specific quotes/passages you will include, explicate, elaborate upon). Do the research—identify some texts that you will read to help you answer the question. While you may begin with Wikipedia to give you basic historical context, you will not be able to cite it in your paper. You will need to cite scholarly sources instead. Some Wikipedia articles are better than others, follow the footnotes. If there aren’t any, you might try the Sloan Encyclopedia of Rhetoric or a couple of other reference texts I have in my office. Come on by and check’em out.
3) As part of the proposal you will need to identify 10 sources you will read to answer the question. I expect you to have read at least 5 by the time you turn in your proposal, and you will write a detailed annotation of each—what is the scholar’s argument? How does it influence your thinking?
I don’t expect you to have read all of them, but the more you list, the better, and the more you’ve read the better. I do expect you to articulate why or how you think the source will be useful (based on an abstract, a footnote that points to it, etc). It may turn out not to be useful at all, but you should anticipate that it will be or it shouldn’t be on your list!
4) Identify the type of argument you’re making—application, historical, theoretical, something else, and the methods you will use to support/make it. You may find it helpful to refer back to the Stroud/Mao debate and/or the Fernheimer and Holdstein pieces. Think in terms of stasis + methods here.
5) I want to you to articulate a hypothetical thesis—you’re not wedded to it, but I want you to have done enough research that you have an idea of what you hope to be able to argue, once you do start writing.
6) Upload your list of sources and annotations to the Googledocument for this class. There’s no need to go it alone. As a team we can work smarter, not necessarily harder. I’m sure many of the sources you’re working with will also be helpful to your peers.
You must answer all questions to earn credit. You must identify 10 secondary sources and have read/annotated five for this assignment.
Note: You’re welcome to continue some of the work you began in the mid-term essay. You will obviously need to broaden out some of the scope in order to have enough to write about for 10-15 pages, but feel free to use the types of questions there as guidelines for both lines of inquiry and methods of arguing. If you’re unsure how to broaden the scope, come talk to me.
Hints for getting started—read over your notes and all the questions up to this point in the semester. If nothing strikes your fancy, go to the reading schedule look ahead and see if anything is enticing to you. Read it and write some questions.
Come see me in office hours! Go to the Writing Center for a brainstorming session.