Day 27: What in your project is wild, untamable, chaotic, or random?

This post is from the 30-day reflective writing series I made for Academic Writing Month (November 2018). For background on the series and links to all the videos, visit this page. To turn on subtitles: On a computer, hover at the bottom of the video window to make the row of icons appear; click on the “settings” icon (which looks like a cog), and select “Subtitles.” On a phone, the “subtitles” icon is in the bottom right corner of the screen.

DAY 27 CONTENT SUMMARY:

  • The process of conducting research, making meaning of data, and developing a manuscript that presents an organized and compelling story-argument is very much a process of humans imposing structure and control over reality that is inherently messy. But we can’t ever engineer all of the chaos, waste, entropy, accidents, or chance out of this process.

  • What does this wildness look like in your project? For example, you could think about a time when an accident took things in a new and unexpected direction, or you could reflect on a persistent undercurrent of chaos or chance running through your entire project.

  • This question is an opportunity to reflect on the forces of nature we are always working in tension with throughout the process of knowledge-building and meaning-making—some of which we can absorb and integrate, and some of which we cannot.

Posted on November 26, 2018 and filed under #AcWriMo, reflection questions.

Day 26: What is your roadmap telling you about your argument, or vice versa?

This post is from the 30-day reflective writing series I made for Academic Writing Month (November 2018). For background on the series and links to all the videos, visit this page. To turn on subtitles: On a computer, hover at the bottom of the video window to make the row of icons appear; click on the “settings” icon (which looks like a cog), and select “Subtitles.” On a phone, the “subtitles” icon is in the bottom right corner of the screen.

DAY 26 CONTENT SUMMARY:

  • An argument roadmap is like an extended thesis statement. In an article, the roadmap is usually one paragraph appearing at the end of the introduction section, while in a book, the roadmap is usually a sequence of paragraphs appearing near the end of the introduction chapter.

  • The roadmap is an important piece of argument scaffolding where you tell the reader the main point of your argument and how the argument will unfold. The reader can use the roadmap as a touchstone, returning to it over and over while navigating your argument as a whole.

  • Like a thesis statement, a roadmap is usually not finalized until late in the writing process, requiring tweaks and refinements as the the argument itself develops. With today’s reflection, consider what your current roadmap suggests about how to develop your draft. Or if your draft is better developed than your roadmap at the moment, consider how your draft can help you refine your roadmap.

Posted on November 25, 2018 and filed under #AcWriMo, reflection questions.

Day 25: What do you know for sure about your subject?

This post is from the 30-day reflective writing series I made for Academic Writing Month (November 2018). For background on the series and links to all the videos, visit this page. To turn on subtitles: On a computer, hover at the bottom of the video window to make the row of icons appear; click on the “settings” icon (which looks like a cog), and select “Subtitles.” On a phone, the “subtitles” icon is in the bottom right corner of the screen.

DAY 25 CONTENT SUMMARY:

  • As academics, we exist on the edges of knowledge and have a deep awareness of the complexity of all things. So, we are always seeking deeper understanding and greater nuance, and we have heightened awareness of everything we don’t know.

  • This awareness can keep us from recognizing how much we really do know, how much we have learned, and how much knowledge we have already constructed.

  • This reflection question is an opportunity to acknowledge and affirm the knowledge-construction you have already done in the course of your project to date. What do you know for sure about your subject that you didn’t know when you started this work?

Posted on November 24, 2018 and filed under #AcWriMo, reflection questions.

Day 24: How can you put your expertise into action today?

This post is from the 30-day reflective writing series I made for Academic Writing Month (November 2018). For background on the series and links to all the videos, visit this page. To turn on subtitles: On a computer, hover at the bottom of the video window to make the row of icons appear; click on the “settings” icon (which looks like a cog), and select “Subtitles.” On a phone, the “subtitles” icon is in the bottom right corner of the screen.

DAY 24 CONTENT SUMMARY:

  • Think of a concrete action you can take today to embody your expertise. It could be any kind of exercise or application of what you know as a result of working on your project.

  • This is a broader question than our teaching question from a few days ago, which dealt with inviting someone else into our own understanding of our subjects. Here, we are thinking about embodied expertise more broadly.

  • You might approach this question by simply taking the action, or you might find it helpful to do reflective writing about the question as well. Either way, focus on actions that contribute to positive change in the world.

Posted on November 23, 2018 and filed under reflection questions, #AcWriMo.